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Middleweight champion Lee hungry to extend World reign

By Sean McGoldrick

Perhaps it is the attention devoted to the tiny details that characterises champions.

Moments from completing the public formalities at yesterday's weigh-in ahead of the first official defence of his WBO World middleweight crown, Andy Lee was whisked away by trainer Adam Booth to an adjoining room in the bowels of the Manchester Arena.

There he sat down to eat his first meal of the day, an unappetising looking carton of dry white rice topped up with a couple of bananas.

Booth fussed around and ushered away anybody who approached the boxer.

Lee was four ounces lighter than his opponent Billy Joe Saunders which is slightly surprising given that at 26 he is five years younger than the Irishman.

Lee, whose dream was to defend his World title in front of his home fans in Limerick's Thomond Park, was delighted that he had plenty of vocal support at the weigh-in. He said: "I believe there are quite a few fans coming from Ireland for the fight and I think it will be 50/50 in terms of support in the arena."

This afternoon he will go for a nap prior to making the journey to the Arena for the fight, which is provisionally scheduled to begin at 10.15pm.

"I don't find the last 24 hours before a fight difficult. It's just a matter of getting in and there and fighting. All the hard work is done at this stage.

"I have spent too long waiting for this fight. I'm just looking forward to doing what I have to do and beating him.

"I believe I can out-box him and hopefully knock him out but it's not just about the punch," added Lee in an obvious reference to his lethal right hook.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph