Though middleweight Andy Lee (16-1) lost his chance to top the bill at the WaMu Theater in Madison Square Garden on March 16 after Irish Ropes cancelled Erin Go Brawl II, promoter Brian Peters wasted no time in adding him to the undercard of super bantamweight Bernard Dunne’s world title challenge against WBA champion Ricardo Cordoba on March 21 at the O2 Arena in Dublin.
As of this writing, no opponent has been finalized. For now, Lee is happy to be getting back in the ring after the longest layoff of his career.
“Right now I don’t know who I will be fighting,” Lee told the Irish Voice Tuesday morning. “I am grateful that Brian put me on the card as he saved the day, or else I would have had no fight after all this training.”
Lee will leave Detroit on Friday and arrive in Dublin on Saturday a week ahead of the fight. Peters’ matchmaker Tomas Rohan is working on finding an opponent for the southpaw.
Events in New York have left Lee somewhat annoyed and the 24-year-old was unhappy with how things transpired. “It was unbelievable, I was so angry,”he said of the cancellation.
“What can you do, you don’t know what is really behind it,” he says. “They (Promoters Irish Ropes) say it is ticket sales, but I know they are in a lot of hassle with John Duddy in court and they got a lot of bad publicity over that.
“Maybe that had an effect on sales. You never really know what is going on behind the scenes.”
Lee also feels that the cancellation could be damaging to his own reputation as a box office attraction. “They messed me around the last time I fought on the John Duddy undercard in 2007 when they tried to cancel my fight at the last minute after my family had come over and now it is the same again. I hope they get what they deserve,” Lee says.
The Detroit-based Limerick man is trying to take the positives out of the whole situation.
“It’s no bad thing to be fighting in the O2 Arena for the first time on Bernard Dunne’s big night. Hopefully it will be a historic night for him and for Irish boxing, and it would be great to be a part of that. It is expected to be a sell out with 9,000 people so you can fall over and land on your feet.”
Lee’s trainer Emanuel Steward is also moving on from the cancellation.
“The disappointment of the March 16 fight in New York soon evaporated when my good friend Brian Peters came into the picture,” he said. “Brian is a very pragmatic guy always thinking on his feet. To put Andy on the card on this momentous night for Irish boxing was a wonderful gesture.”