Lee sets his sights on Easter world title fight

LIMERICK middleweight boxer Andy Lee could be set for an Easter world title fight.

LIMERICK middleweight boxer Andy Lee could be set for an Easter world title fight.

The 27-year-old Castleconnell man hopes to be able to finalise details of a world title fight in the coming days.

The southpaw was due to fight in Madison Square Garden on March 17 but withdrew from that contest last weekend and set his sights on challenging Germany’s Felix Sturm for the WBA belt.

The former St Francis Boxing Club Olympian will have to fight the champion in his native Germany, with Sturm seeking an opponent for an April 13 title defence.

The Limerick southpaw has already fought three times in Germany - all on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko fights.

In March of last year, Lee, ranked No5 in the WBA rankings, signed a new promotional deal with DiBella.

Lee was guaranteed that the he would finally get his world title shot in 2012 and has defeated Craig McEwan and Brian Vera is successive televised wins in the US.

Sturm, who has held the WBA title since 2007, has struggled in his last two fights against Matthew Macklin and Martin Murray.

“Due to the unavailability of a suitable world-ranked opponent, Team Lee have collectively decided it is in my best career interest to pass on a fight on this occasion,” said Andy Lee as he confirmed his withdrawal from the St Patrick’s Day bout in New York.

“I would like to thank my promoter, Lou DiBella, and HBO for planning to have me on the card and for their efforts to secure a suitable opponent for me from the limited boxers available,” he added from his Detroit base.

Lee’s promoter Lou DiBella is now is talks with representatives of Sturm.

“We are talking with Sturm’s people. Andy wants a big fight. He wants to fight Felix Sturm,” confirmed DiBella.

“Andy and Emanuel Steward want the fight. They want me to pursue this opportunity and that’s why Andy is not fighting on March 17. He wants to hold out for a big opportunity. Sturm doesn’t have an opponent for April and we hope to make that fight.

“Andy wanted a bigger fight. He didn’t want to put all his high rankings in the organisations at risk for a fight that wasn’t a big fight and, simultaneously, the possibility of Sturm also arose. He wants to pursue a bigger fight instead of a low-budget risk fight,” said Lee’s promoter.