THE countdown is underway to Andy Lee’s return to the ring.
The Castleconnell man is in London preparing for his February 9 fight in Belfast.
The Limerick middleweight will return to the ring against Dubliner Anthony Fitzgerald in Belfast’s Odyssey Arena live on Sky Sports in Betfair’s ‘Unfinished Business’ boxing event.
The Belfast bill is headlined by Carl Frampton’s shot at the European super bantamweight title against Kiko Martinez.
Next month will be Lee’s first outing since he suffered a seventh-round stoppage to Chavez Jr for the WBC middleweight title on June 16 in El Paso, Texas.
As he battles back towards another world title fight, Lee made the decision to relocate to London from the US, even before the death of his former coach Emanuel Steward.
“It is a new start for me over here,” said Andy Lee.
“I was in America for a long time. I fought for a World title but it didn’t work out so I felt I needed a fresh start and for me to come back here and train with Adam has been a fresh start,” said Lee of new coach Adam Booth, the man famous for guiding the fortunes of heavyweight David Haye.
“If I had stayed over there I would have stayed in the same place physically and metaphorically in my career as well. When you fight for World titles and don’t succeed you have to ask yourself why you didn’t succeed and you have to evaluate things. I felt like I had gone as far as I could in Detroit and the only way forward was to change things,” said Lee.
“To get back to World title fights I have to win fights, it is as simple as that. We need one or two fights and then maybe fight one of the best lads from the British scene and that will put me right back in the mix and in touch of a title. I am not a million miles away, three or four fights and I am back in contention.”
Lee is currently ranked no7 with the WBC and no9 with the WBA.
Tickets are on sale from the Odyssey Arena website www.odysseyarena.com and from promoters www.matchroomboxing.com