Irish middleweight Andy Lee is out of the big St Patrick’s Night fight bill at Madison Square Garden.
The Limerickman has withdrawn his services from the chief supporting bout to Matthew Macklin’s world title showdown with Sergio Martinez.
Lee has pulled out of the show after rows between his management and promoter Lou DiBella over potential opponents.
Instead the Detroit based Lee will now look to meet German world champion Felix Strum in April.
“Due to the unavailability of a suitable world-ranked opponent, Team Lee have collectively decided it is in my best career interest to pass on a fight on this occasion,” Lee said.
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“I would like to thank my promoter, Lou DiBella, and HBO for planning to have me on the card and for their efforts to secure a suitable opponent for me from the limited boxers available.”
Promoter DiBella admitted: “Andy wanted a bigger fight. He didn’t want to put all his high rankings in the organizations at risk for a fight that wasn’t a big fight and, simultaneously, the possibility of Sturm also arose. He wants to pursue a bigger fight instead of a low-budget risk fight.”
DiBella told ESPN.com that the new co-feature for the HBO broadcast will be a super middleweight match between blue-chip prospect Edwin Rodriguez (20-0, 14 KOs), of Worcester, Mass., and Donovan George (22-1-1, 19 KOs) of Chicago.
“HBO has approved the fight and in terms of a style match-up, it doesn’t get any better,” said DiBella.
“If you like offense and punching power and guys who come to fight, it doesn’t get any better. This fight has zero chance of stink-ability.”