In a huge shock Andy Lee,30, from Limerick has become the WBO world middleweight champion after defeating his highly touted and undefeated opponent Matt Korobov in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The fight was shown live on HBO.

He becomes Ireland’s first world champion to win the title in the US since Jimmy McLarnin in 1934.

Lee was behind on points to his much more fancied opponent when he unleashed a barrage in the sixth round that stunned Korbov. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight.

The Limerick man was overwhelmed by his victory afterwards.

"It's tough to describe this moment," he said to the media. "I am a champion and I want to defend my belt in Ireland and I will fight the best in the world.

"I have to say a thank you to this man, my coach Adam Booth, who has done so much for me in the last couple of years - this title is for him before also for the man who made me Emanuel Steward."

Steward coached Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko before his death in 2012, had taken Lee, from Limerick, under his wing.

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.

Ireland's Lee (34-2, 23 KOs), who was a 2004 Olympian, had lost a previous world title effort when defeated by then-middleweight champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in the seventh round in 2012. 

Lee has won five fights in a row since, but was a relatively unconsidered fill-in for his opponent after another more lucrative fight fell through.