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No venue confirmed for Andy Lee fight - promoter

Reports this morning had suggested that Thomond Park had been confirmed as the venue for the WBO middleweight title fight.

Lee declared that defending the title in his home town would be a
Lee declared that defending the title in his home town would be a "dream".
Image: Raymond Spencer/INPHO

PROMOTER FRANK WARREN has dismissed reports that Thomond Park has been confirmed as the venue for the WBO middleweight title fight between Limerick’s own Andy Lee and Englishman Billy Joe Saunders.

It was reported this morning by several media outlets that the home of Munster Rugby would host the fight on 19 September but a statement released by Queensberry Promotions said that no decision has been made and venues in Ireland and England are still under consideration.

Following reports in the media this morning (Friday 19th June) that the Andy Lee v Billy Joe Saunders WBO World Middleweight title fight will take place on September 19 at Thomond Park in Ireland, promoter Frank Warren has confirmed that these reports are incorrect.The date and venue for the highly anticipated showdown have not been confirmed yet and are subject to ongoing negotiations. It can be confirmed that the fight will take place in September with venues in London and Ireland under consideration.Mr. Warren and Adam Booth, Lee’s manager, are in advanced discussions and will announce details in due course once finalised.

Lee won the WBO belt with a sixth-round stoppage of Matt Korobov in December before drawing with Peter Quillin in an entertaining non-title bout in New York in April. Mandatory challenger Saunders, a 25-year-old southpaw, has been out of the ring since November when he defeated Chris Eubank Jr in London. He is due to box at the Wembley Arena on 24 July.

The highly-anticipated fight will be the first time two members of the Travelling community have contested a world title. Lee told RTE earlier this year that his dream is to defend the title in Limerick.

“I’ve had three dreams in my career,” he said. “One was to win a world title and two was to bring it back to Limerick. And my third dream would be to defend it in Limerick and hopefully that can be done in the summer.

Warren, who promotes Saunders, wants the fight in England because he believes it will generate more money there. As discussions continue between Warren and Lee’s trainer and manager Andy Booth, Irish boxing fans will have to cross their fingers that Thomond Park will be selected for the September showdown.

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Donal Lucey

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