ANDY LEE’S BID for a world title unification bout next year has received a boost with the news that his WBO middleweight title defence against Billy Joe Saunders will be screened live in the US.
Lee takes on Saunders later this month, 19 December, at the Manchester Arena, and the bout will be broadcast in Ireland and the UK by subscription channel BoxNation.
Now Stateside fight fans will also get to watch the clash as Showtime Sports’ Sho Extreme has picked up the rights to both live and delayed coverage.
With the middleweight division heating up nicely in recent times, the news means that Lee’s popular US profile should be maintained as he builds towards a unification fight against one of the division’s other titles holders, and such a bout would seem most likely to take place across the Atlantic if Lee can see off Saunders.
Kazakh monster Gennady Golovkin, who holds the IBF and WBA world titles, is based out of California, while newly-crowned WBC title holder Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has fought of all his fights over the past four years in the US. Meanwhile Danny Jacobs and Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin fight for a lesser version of the WBA strap this weekend in Brooklyn.
“It’s great that my fans in the US will get to see the fight between me and Saunders and I guarantee it’s going to be exciting,” said Lee following the news.
“We’re excited to deliver this important match-up of top middleweights to the US audience,” added Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza.
“The 160-pound class is one of boxing’s hottest and deepest divisions right now, and the winner of this fight should position himself for a major showdown or unification in 2016.”