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Andy Lee: 'I have the title - the pressure is all on Billy Joe to try and take it off me'

Limerick’s Lee faces his first world title defence in Manchester this Saturday night.

Lee hasn't fought since April when he drew with Peter Quillin in a non-title bout.
Lee hasn't fought since April when he drew with Peter Quillin in a non-title bout.
Image: Peter Byrne

WBO MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION Andy Lee reckons the pressure is all on Billy Joe Saunders in Saturday night’s world title showdown.

Lee faces his first defence against Saunders in Manchester — more than a year after he stunned Matt Korobov to claim the gold.

A win would open the door to host of unification fights with Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs all on the horizon in 2016.

But first Lee has to do what nobody has managed in Saunders’ professional career, and beat the Englishman.

“I am in a good frame of mind,” Lee said on Monday evening.

I am the champion, I have the title, and the pressure is all on Billy Joe to try and take it off me and that’s not going to happen.

“The talk and predictions about the fight will end when the first bell rings. I am primed for battle and have all the tools in my arsenal to win the fight and I intend to use them on Saturday night.

“My total focus is on winning and nothing else.”

Lee, 31, is unbeaten in his last eight fights since losing to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr more than three years ago.

Trainer Adam Booth believes the Limerick man has the skill, the experience and the power to hand Saunders his first pro defeat.

“We have prepared for the best of Billy Joe Saunders,” Booth said. “He had a successful amateur career and is undefeated as a pro.

However, Andy is a big middleweight and comes into the ring with vast experience as an amateur and professional.

“Andy has the skill set to beat Billy Joe. He can box on the outside, fight at close quarters and has the power to take a fighter out with either hand.”

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