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Paddy's weekend in New York just got bigger - Andy Lee added to Golovkin v Jacobs card

Former world champion to return on 18 March in Madison Square Garden.

Lee: lost world title to Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015.
Lee: lost world title to Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

FORMER WORLD BOXING champion Andy Lee will return to the ring next month — his first fight after more than a year on the sidelines.

Lee, 32, has been confirmed for the undercard of Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs’ title showdown in Madison Square Garden on 18 March.

The fight will be his first since losing his WBO middleweight belt to Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015.

Lee’s return adds even more Irish interest to the action in New York on St Patrick’s weekend, with Michael Conlan slated to make his professional debut in the MSG Theatre the previous night.

Katie Taylor had also been lined up for the Golovkin-Jacobs card but will instead appear on 4 March in London, the night of David Haye and Tony Bellew’s heavyweight grudge match.

Lee will face KeAndrae Leatherwood (19-3-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight contest. “He’s in a very competitive fight for his first fight back,” promoter Tom Loeffler told ESPN.

Lee had originally planned a much shorter hiatus but plans to return to the ring last summer were shelved.

“After taking a year out, I’m back,” he said. “I feel refreshed and hungrier than ever.”

“My goal is to eventually challenge the winner of GGG and Jacobs. March 18 will be the first step on that journey.”

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