Reports emanating from Ireland last week suggesting that Irish promoter Brian Peters was hoping to put an Andy Lee/John Duddy fight together for November seem more speculative than definitive.
“I see the deal for this fight as a 50/50 one because to me the status of both men is on a par, but to make it that bit more attractive to them I'm prepared to offer a €35,000 ($50,000) bonus to the winner,” Peters was quoted in numerous outlets.
“Dangling the carrot of a bonus of this nature should certainly make the fight more interesting to both parties. Although there is a lot of serious talking still to be done.”
It would seem that some talking has been done, but only with one side.
When asked about the Peters offer, Duddy management advisor Craig Hamilton said, “I can tell you this. Peters has on several occasions, through his underling, extended offers to me.
“I don’t know how serious these offers are, but I can tell you the offers that have been made to us make no sense for us to take or even consider at this point.
“Andy Lee is a capable fighter if you are going to fight him. First of all what we are trying to do is to get John into the ring against a world champ and Andy Lee isn’t one, so the world doesn’t go through Andy Lee.
“He would then be reduced to being an opponent we would fight for money and we would fight to position John for a world championship fight.
“At this point, the offer that was made was not adequate enough that we would seriously consider it, and if that is the best offer that can come out of Ireland it may very well be that the best place for the fight would be somewhere in March here (New York) if we are looking to do that.”
Hamilton also confirmed that he has never spoken to HBO or Showtime on Duddy’s behalf about a possible Duddy/Lee fight on any cable channel.
While Peters has been in touch with Hamilton, Emanuel Steward, who is Lee’s manager as well as trainer, confirmed Monday that the Irish promoter had not been in touch with him.
“Brian Peters has not talked to us, but that is a fight we would welcome and I think belongs to New York personally”, said Steward.
“If we could get a local promoter in New York to put the fight on then we would be very interested in putting the fight on in America.
“I think it is a good fight if it is worked out properly. It would probably be a fight that is of huge interest to the fans, and is the hottest fight in the middleweight division now.”
Last week Steward told the Irish Voice that he was in negotiations with one of the boxing associations and that his fighter was only one or two fights from a world title shot. These negotiations do not involve any possible fight with Duddy.
Lee was himself was quoted by outlets after his win on Friday night saying he was up for a fight against his compatriot.
“The interest has always been there from day one, as soon as Andy turned professional, the question has been: who is the best between John Duddy and Andy Lee?" said Steward.
It would seem that the common goal that both parties share could be the one thing that may keep them apart.
Both Lee and Duddy want to fight for the world title. Neither owns one, so either they pursue their title dreams separately or fight each for a big purse.
If Peters can pull off the deal in Ireladn, it would be one of the biggest All-Irish fights the country has seen in years. If not, the best time for two Irishmen to fight in New York would be around St. Patrick’s Day.