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Carl Frampton

Wise guy Andy Lee will add fuel to Tyson Fury's fire

Carl Frampton


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Former world champion Tyson Fury challenges Deontay Wilder for his WBC heavyweight crown on February 22 (Simon Cooper/PA)

Former world champion Tyson Fury challenges Deontay Wilder for his WBC heavyweight crown on February 22 (Simon Cooper/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Former world champion Tyson Fury challenges Deontay Wilder for his WBC heavyweight crown on February 22 (Simon Cooper/PA)

The countdown has started to the big heavyweight battle between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury and one factor that I believe will be in the challenger's favour is the addition of Limerick man Andy Lee to his camp.

I was surprised when Fury made the change from Ben Davison as his head coach as they had worked so well together. Making such changes just before a big fight could backfire just because it takes time to settle into a new set-up. Now, he is trained by Sugarhill Steward and his cousin Andy is the assistant coach.

Fury has obviously known Andy for a long time and his presence should be of real benefit leading up to the fight on February 22 in Las Vegas, which promoter Bob Arum says will break all pay-per-view records.

Andy is a former world champion so he knows all about the hype around big fights - though nothing as big as this - but I've been impressed with his knowledge of the sport for some time now and I think he is going to go on to become one of the best coaches around.

The proof is in the pudding but this opportunity of working with Fury is a chance for Andy to make his mark and I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes one of the coaches over the next decade that a lot of fighters will want to work with.

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Andy Lee has joined Tyson Fury's camp for the Deontay Wilder rematch

Andy Lee has joined Tyson Fury's camp for the Deontay Wilder rematch

Andy Lee has joined Tyson Fury's camp for the Deontay Wilder rematch

Andy is a guy who has always been thinking about the end game in training rather than short-term goals - as a fighter he worked on certain drills over and over so they would pay off in the fight. For example, I saw him sparring Conrad Cummings a few years ago and he constantly worked with his back against the ropes, working on one particular shot.

It may have looked like he was under pressure but he had a plan, there was a real purpose to his training and the right hand he had been working on landed perfectly in his next fight when he stopped John Jackson to win the North American middleweight title, which set up his shot at the world crown.

Andy knows the game inside out and he's a very laid back, relaxed guy which will be a good thing on fight week when tensions rise as they always do.

Fury will probably go into the fight as a slight favourite because most people thought he won the first bout in 2018 but I feel this is a very close one to call because Wilder has such ferocious power. He had lost every round against Luis Ortiz before landing the knockout punch.

Wilder knows that he can hurt Fury so he may well be even more confident about marching forward and looking to get the job done early. It's a fascinating fight.

Fury has said in the past how important the influence of Emmanuel Steward was on his career, having worked with him in the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit and then in camp with Wladimir Klitschko. Now he is working with Manny's nephew and Andy, also a former Kronk fighter, so it seems like a good combination.

If Fury does come through it will be a huge victory for him - but also, I believe, a big moment in the coaching career of Andy Lee.

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