Andy Lee vs Billy Joe Saunders WBO middleweight World title official on-site £100 ticket billed, "The Xmas Cracker", 19th December 2015, Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena), Manchester.
Saunders W majority decision
*Saunders wins World Boxing Organization World Middleweight title by majority decision. Close tactical bout clearly won by Saunders, though many rounds were close. Lee clearly won the last two rounds.
*Saunders won the title with two knockdowns of Lee in the third round with right hands. Saunders in the post fight interview "I noticed he kept his lead hand low. I'm not the biggest puncher."
*Saunders thanked promoter Frank Warren and his management MGM Marbella after the bout. Chris Eubank was discussed post fight for a possible rematch with Saunders for his title.
*Paul Malignaggi noted in the post fight commentary without the third round knockdown (a 10-7 round) the bout would have been a draw.
*World Boxing Association World Middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs noted in the post fight commentary "It is a good time to be a middleweight champion" referring to the competitiveness of the division.
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Condition very good (2 minor vertical creases)
Andy Lee (born 11 June 1984) from Limerick. He is the current WBO Middleweight champion.
Lee was born in Bow, London, England to Irish parents. In 1998, his parents returned to Castleconnell, County Limerick, Ireland with their six children.
Lee had been boxing at the Repton Boxing Club in London from the age of eight and upon moving to Ireland Lee and his brothers, Tommy and Ned, joined St Francis ABC in Limerick city where his boxing career took off.
World Junior Championships
Lee represented Ireland at the 2002 World Junior championships in Santiago de Cuba in the middleweight (75 kg) category. Lee fought five times in a week beating Ismail Sillakh and USA favourite Jesus Gonzales but lost the final to Cuban boxer Noelvis Diaz to claim the silver medal.
Irish Senior Titles
In February 2003, Lee, aged 17, fought for the Irish senior amateur title in the middleweight division. That year he was beaten in the final by Belfast man Eamonn O'Kane. The following year Lee won the title after overcoming Patrick Murray for the honour and in 2005 Lee retained the title beating O'Kane in the final.
2004 Summer Olympics
At the 2003 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Bangkok, which doubled up as a qualifier for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Lee was beaten on points by eventual winner Gennady Golovkin by 29:9. Lee's next chance to qualify for the Olympics, came at the 2004 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Pula, Croatia.
Lee earned a bronze medal at this competition and thereby qualified, as the only boxer, to represent Ireland at the Olympics.
At the Olympics Lee beat Mexican Alfredo Angulo 38:23 on points in the first round. In the second round Lee faced Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam of Cameroon, after four rounds the fight was drawn 27:27 and the bout was decided by "count-back" and the verdict went the way of the Cameroonian, which ended Lee's hopes of a medal. Lee was bitterly disappointed in the result and stated "I just didn’t fight to my ability. But when I got back home the people treated me like I’d won the gold medal."
After the Olympics, the Irish Sports Council had stated that they were prepared to fund Lee in order that he could continue and compete at the Beijing Olympics. However, Lee turned this down and signed as a professional with trainer-manager Emanuel Steward, who had followed Lee's progress since the World junior championships. Lee then emigrated to the United States to join Steward's Kronk Gym in Detroit.
His first professional bout was in March 2006, at the Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, in which Lee beat Anthony Cannon on a points decision over six rounds on a card that featured Johnathon Banks.
On 15 December 2007, Lee became the Irish Super-middleweight champion after he beat fellow Irishman Jason McKay at the National Stadium in Dublin.
In April 2007, HBO featured Lee as one of boxing's top prospects, with Larry Merchant commenting "he [Lee] looks like 10 million dollars". Star coach Steward has also been quick to praise Lee, claiming on RTE television that by the end of 2008 he would defeat current World champion - Kelly Pavlik.
In December 2007 ESPN also listed Lee as a top prospect saying "Lee has all the potential to be the next great middleweight star. The 2004 Irish Olympian is a 6-2 southpaw with skills, power and a streak as mean in the ring as he is personable outside of it. With trainer/manager Emanuel Steward moulding him, Lee is moving quickly. He was 8-0 in 2007, including a thunderous knockout of faded former titleholder Carl Daniels. Lee is as blue chip as they come. If you could get stock in a prospect, he'd be near the top of the buy list."
On 21 March 2008, during his debut on ESPN 2, Lee suffered his first defeat after losing by TKO in the seventh round to Brian Vera. The stoppage was mildly controversial, as Lee was winning on points, and was still punching back as the referee Tony Chiarantano stepped in. However, he had been reeling and unsteady from heavy punishment and fatigue for several minutes, and neither he nor his corner complained at the stoppage.
On 19 July 2008 Lee defeated Willie Gibbs in the last round, when Gibbs's corner threw in the towel after a barrage of shots from Lee with 7 seconds to go.
On 21 March 2009, appearing on the under-card of the Bernard Dunne World title fight against Ricardo Cordoba, Lee beat the tough German brawler Alexander Sipos in a unanimous decision. This was a reckoning of sorts, as it occurred on the one year-to-the-day anniversary of Lee's first and only professional defeat.
On 20 June 2009, Lee outpointed Olegs Fedotovs in front of 60,000+ at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany for his 18th victory as part of the Klitschko-Chagaev under-card.
On 22 August 2009, Lee stopped Andy Shuler in the 8th round of a bout in Hammond, Indiana to earn his 19th victory and 14th KO.
A hometown crowd turned out in Limerick, 14 November 2009, to watch Lee defeat Frenchman Affif Belghecham in a ten-round battle of the southpaws. Shannonsider Lee outpointed the Frenchman 99-92; Lee stopped Mamadou Thiam the following year in the same venue.
On 30 July 2010 Lee faced James Cook in Miami, Oklahoma and won the bout by a fifth round knockout.
On 12 March 2011, Lee fought Craig McEwan at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and won via technical knockout at 0:56 in the 10th round.
He avenged his loss to Brian Vera on 1 October 2011 by unanimous decision.
On 10 March 2012, Lee Knocked out Mexico's Saul Duran in the 2nd round of a stay busy fight.
First World Title Shot
On 16 June 2012, Lee challenged undefeated Titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the WBC World Middleweight Title in the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas televised on HBO World Championship Boxing. After getting off to a good start, using his jab and effectively out-boxing Chavez Jr. in the centre of the small 16 foot ring, however, Chavez Jr. eventually got through with his stronger punching power, essentially turning the fight in Chavez Jr's. favor. Near the middle rounds, Lee began to lose stamina due to Chavez Jrs focus on body work. In the round 7, referee Laurence Cole stopped the bout with Lee still on his feet after Chavez Jr stunned him. Lee subsequently took a barrage from Chavez Jr on the ropes leading to the stoppage.
Lee vs Fitzgerald
Under the tutelage of new trainer Adam Booth, Lee returned to winning ways, after his loss to Chavez Jr., by outpointing former Irish super middleweight champion Anthony "The Pride" Fitzgerald (13-3, 4 KO's) over ten rounds in a middleweight fight held at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on February 9, 2013 on the undercard of a Carl Frampton vs Kiko Martinez EBU (European) super bantamweight title fight.
Lee vs Jackson
On 7 June 2014, in Madison Square Garden, on the undercard of the Pay-Per-View fight between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez, Andy Lee met hard-hitting Virgin Islander John Jackson in a 154-lb bout. John Jackson is the son of the great light-middleweight puncher Julian Jackson. In the first round Lee was knocked down for the first time in his amateur or pro career respectively on a hard right-hand counter by the heavy-handed Jackson. Lee regained his composure but proceeded to lose the next 3 rounds in a row, he spent the majority of the time tactically looking to catch Jackson coming in with a right hook counter. In round 5 Jackson unleashed a furious flurry of punches and trapped Lee on the ropes, Lee moved off the ropes, but as Jackson moved in to close the show, Andy Lee caught him with the perfectly timed right hook counter that he was looking for and knocked Jackson completely out.
Lee vs Korobov: World Champion
After the comeback knockout victory over John Jackson, Andy Lee secured himself a 13 December WBO World Middleweight Title shot against the then undefeated former 2008 Russian Olympian, Matt Korobov. This was to be on the HBO triple-header that featured the fight between Timothy Bradley and Diego Chaves as its main event. In front of a sold out crowd at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Lee and Korobov fought a closely contested chess match before Lee wobbled Korobov with a straight left in the 3rd round. However Korobov regained control and seemed to be controlling the pace of the fight until round 6, when Lee connected on a right hook in an exchange and badly hurt Korobov, a flurry of 18 straight unanswered punches forced referee Kenny Bayless to stop the contest handing Lee the 6th round TKO victory and the WBO World Middleweight Title. With this most impressive win, Lee became the first Irishman to win a World title on American soil since 1934.
Lee vs Quillin
After stating that he wanted to fight the best in the World, Lee postponed a title defence in Ireland to defend his WBO Title against former WBO World Champion, unbeaten Peter Quillin in the Barclays Center on 11 April. Quillin failed to make weight at the weigh-in for the bout however, meaning regardless of the result of the fight, he was ineligible to win Lee's WBO Middleweight World Title. This fight took place as part of a Premier Boxing Champions show on NBC and was on a card that included Danny García fighting Lamont Peterson in the main event. The fight began with what appeared to be a fairly good first round for Lee until with 30 seconds left, Lee was dropped hard, and hurt by an overhand right delivered by Quillin. Lee survived the round, but two rounds later in round 3, found himself on the canvas again, albeit this time in controversial fashion, as it was discovered that Lee went down mostly due to Peter Quillin stepping on his foot. As the fight wore on the rounds seemed to be close and went back and forth, in the seventh round, Lee landed a hard left hand followed by a clean right hook to Quillin's chin which sent him sprawling to the canvas, evening the fight up on the cards and handing Peter Quillin the first knockdown of his career. The fight continued to go back-and-forth and by the end of the 12th round, official judges scores were 113-112 for Lee, 113-112 for Quillin, and 113-113 even, rendering the official outcome of the bout a split draw.
Lee vs Saunders
It was announced that on 19 September 2015, Andy Lee would defend his WBO Middleweight Title against unbeaten Englishman Billy Joe Saunders in his home city of Limerick, Ireland at Thomond Park in a bout with historical meaning. However, due to a lack of promotion by Frank Warren in Ireland, a lack of undercard, and Lee getting a virus, the bout has been pushed back to October 10. And due to a lack of availability of outdoor venues in Ireland during that time, the bout will take place at the Manchester Arena in England. This will be Lee's second title defence, second fight against an undefeated fighter since winning the title, and second time facing his challenger in their home country. It will be the first ever title fight between two boxers of Traveller heritage, Saunders being of Romanichal heritage and Lee being of Irish Traveller heritage.
Billy Joe Saunders (born 30 August 1989) He is the current Commonwealth middleweight champion, having previously held the British and European middleweight titles. As an amateur he represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Originally from Cheshunt, Saunders grew up in a Romanichal travelling community near Hatfield, Hertfordshire. His great-grandfather, Absolom Beeney, was one of the community's most famous bare-knuckle boxers. Billy Joe fought for Cheshunt Amateur Boxing club, overseen by Charlie Bliss, and also at Hoddesdon Amateur Boxing Club.
Saunders won his first 49 amateur fights at senior level, including the 2007 Commonwealth Championships and the 2008 Strandya Cup, edging out Latin American Carlos Banteux
In 2008 Saunders qualified for the Beijing Olympics in the welterweight division at the age of 18. At the European area qualifier in Pescara, Italy he beat European champion Andrey Balanov and Kakhaber Zhvania, but lost in the semi-final to Oleksandr Stretskyy before beating Pavol Hlavačka for the all-important third spot to become the first person from the British Romanichal community to qualify for the games.
In Beijing he beat Adem Kılıççı in the first round but lost to old foe Carlos Banteux in the second. He was subsequently suspended for "lewd behaviour", allegedly pertaining to an incident with a local woman during a pre-season training camp in France. In early December 2008, Saunders turned professional and signed with promoter Frank Warren.
Saunders made his professional debut on 28 February 2009 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, against Attila Molnar. Saunders looked confident from the opening bell, landing hard combinations which quickly overwhelmed Molnar. In round two, a series of punches that landed flush on Molnar's chin caused the referee to stop the fight and save a dazed Molnar.
Saunders won his second fight by second-round stoppage of Ronny Gabel and his third fight, also by second round stoppage, of Matt Scriven. On 9 October 2009, he went four full rounds to outpoint Alex Spitko. On 21 May 2011, he scored an impressive second-round knockout victory over Kevin Hammond. Saunders went on to score wins against Norbert Szekeres, Gary Boulden and Tony Hill, the last of these giving him his seventh professional knockout victory and his first major regional title, the Commonwealth middleweight championship, on 28 April 2012. For his first defence of the title, on 1 June, Saunders went the full twelve-round distance (also a first) against veteran Bradley Pryce, outpointing him comfortably. A then-undefeated Jarrod Fletcher was quickly dispatched in two rounds on 14 September.
On 15 December, Saunders fought Nick Blackwell for the vacant British middleweight title. This turned out to be one of Saunders' first tough outings, as he was forced to go the full twelve rounds en route to a competitive unanimous decision victory on the judges' scorecards. A pair of trouble-free fights came next, against tough slugger Matthew Hall on 21 March 2013 and Gary O'Sullivan on 20 July, both of which also lasted twelve full rounds. 2013 concluded for Saunders with another tough fight on 21 September, this time against fellow British prospect John Ryder in defence of both the Commonwealth and British middleweight titles. Both fighters came in undefeated and fought for twelve competitive rounds, with very close scorecards all favouring Saunders.
It would be almost another year until Saunders had his next fight. On 26 July 2014 he added to his title collection with an eighth-round knockout of Emanuele Blandamura, earning him the European middleweight title. Immediately after the Blandamura fight, Saunders called out another undefeated British prospect and arch rival Chris Eubank, Jr. Prolonged negotiations ensued between Frank Warren and Eubank, Jr.'s team (led by his father Chris Eubank, Sr.), with the highly anticipated fight eventually signed in October and taking place on 29 November. All three of Saunders' titles were on the line, as well as being an eliminator for the WBO World middleweight title.
The rivalry and build-up was likened to the first fight between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank in 1990. Saunders went on to defeat Eubank, Jr. via split decision; two judges had scores of 115–114 and 115–113 for Saunders, with the third judge scoring 116–113 for Eubank, Jr. Having secured his third defence of the British middleweight title, Saunders earned the Lonsdale Belt outright; he gave this to his father Tommy as a Christmas present.
With the win over Eubank, Jr., Saunders was in line for an opportunity to fight WBO World middleweight champion Andy Lee. In February 2015, Saunders and Warren accepted a 'step-aside' financial offer from promoter Lou DiBella in order for Lee to face Peter Quillin instead Warren said that he hoped for Lee to win that fight so that Saunders vs Lee could be staged in the summer. At around the same time, due to his high ranking, Saunders also received an offer from the IBF to fight for their vacant World middleweight title, but he reiterated his intention to follow the WBO route. In June, Saunders vs Lee was officially announced for the WBO World middleweight title. The fight was initially scheduled to take place in Lee's hometown of Limerick on 19 September, but was postponed and moved to Manchester on 10 October due to Lee suffering from a viral infection. On 1 September, yet another postponement arose due to Saunders receiving a cut in sparring. The fight has since been rescheduled for 19 December.
On 24 July, Saunders took a tune-up fight—weighing in at 173 pounds (78 kg), near the light-heavyweight limit—and stopped Yoann Bloyer in four rounds.