10 December 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Andy Lee has become the leading candidate to challenge WBC middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez.
The Limerick native was set to fight on the Klitschko-Chiisora undercard but an injury to the Ukrainian champion has seen the entire card cancelled. However, Lee wont be too disappointed as world championship news should more than make up for the cancellation of the scheduled fight.
Martinezs devastating first round knock out of Paul Williams last month has ensured the WBC champ has become the most feared boxer in the middleweight division and it seems Lee has benefited.
John Duddy defeater Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Sebastian Zbik and WBA ring king Felix Strum have all distanced themselves from EL Maravilla paving the way for Limerick southpaw Lee to challenge.
The Argentines promoter Lou DiBella has already held talks with the former Olympians manager regarding the mouth watering clash.
March 12 is the date being muted whilst Madison Square Garden Theatre is the rumoured venue for Lees challenge.
The American based Irish fighter, who is ranked number 14 in the world, had been rumoured to face fellow Irish middleweight John Duddy in New York around St Patricks day, but even before the world title talk he confirmed that fight looked unlikely.
The 26-year-old may however get the chance to avenge his sole defeat at the gloves of Brian Vera before the world title shot.
I’m in a nice position to be challenging for a world title in 2011, Lee told Mirror sport. It looks like there is a good possibility of a rematch with Bryan Vera being made for February. I’m hoping it gets made, I’ve been wanting a rematch since I lost to him and now it looks like it’s finally going to happen.
As far as the Duddy fight goes, it seems pretty much dead in the water for now. I guess his management couldn’t come to terms with the promoter so the fights a no go for now. But I’m still opening to fighting him maybe somewhere down the line our paths will cross.