Middleweight Andy Lee (27-1, 19 KOs) is back in Europe in training camp with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Austria.

Lee, who was last in action on October 1 when he dominated Bryan Vera in a unanimous decision win in Atlantic City, is still waiting to find out what is next for him.

“Still no confirmation on my next fight.  I've heard some talk about St. Patrick’s Day in New York, but there's nothing confirmed yet,” he told the Irish Voice via e-mail.

“I’m in Austria training, just staying in shape and sharpening up. I'm sparring with Tony Harrison and Domonique Dolton and will probably do some rounds with Wladimir towards the end of camp,” he added.

”I'm staying in shape and getting ready for a big 2012, where I hope to challenge and win a world title.”



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Lee’s promoter, Lou Di Bella, was busy on Twitter early Sunday morning, giving his thoughts on a possible match up between Lee and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., who defended his WBC middleweight title with a fifth round TKO of Peter Manfredo, Jr.  on Saturday night.

“Would love to see Chavez, Jr. and Andy Lee. Would be a war and, probably, a new champ,” DiBella tweeted.

The Irish Voice tried to get reaction from Lee about this potential foe but could not reach the 27-year-old before press time.

He did, however, tweet back to DiBella on Sunday, simply saying, “Make the fight!”

Were that match made, the promoter would secure a world title shot for one of his two Irish middleweights on his books.

The other Irish fighter, Matthew Macklin, has been campaigning hard in recent weeks to seal a St. Patrick’s Day fight against Sergio Martinez, the
Ring Magazine and WBC Diamond middleweight champion.

In several recent interviews, Macklin has told the media that if Martinez can’t make a fight with Floyd Mayweather, he is confident he will fight the Argentinean on March 17 in Madison Square Garden.

Meanwhile, heavyweight Thomas Hardwick (3-0) has changed both gym and trainer as he readies himself for his next fight, tentatively scheduled for January 21 at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan.

For the first three fights of his professional career, Hardwick worked out of Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn under the tutelage of Grant Seligson.
Hardwick now trains out of the SportsLab NYC in Midtown Manhattan and is trained by Matthew "Sykes" Olszewski.

Geography was an influential factor in the move.  Hardwick works in construction in the city and had to head out to Brooklyn to train in the evenings before making the long trek back to Yonkers, often spending several hours in the subway every day.

"It's a great set up here, and I really enjoy working here and coming here. It is very clean, very scientific and very professional,” Hardwick told the Irish Voice last week.

“It’s right next door to Grand Central, and it takes me half an hour to get home to Yonkers."

Hardwick has been sparring with Seanie Monaghan for the past couple of weeks as he prepared for what he thought would be an end-of-year assignment in the Bronx on December 1, but his opponent fell through.

“The contact was sent out to somebody, he signed it but he has since pulled out,” he said. "I think it’s best that I get in shape for January 21 at the Roseland Ballroom.

"I am going to get in great shape.  I really want people to see the improvement in my boxing skills. I want people who come see me on January 21 to say,'Thomas, your skills have really sharpened up.’ That is what my goal is here at Sykes Boxing.”

Trying to help him reach that goal is new trainer Olszewski, who spoke to the Irish Voice about his new charge and what they have been working on together.

"We are sticking to the basics and sharpening him up and getting him to be a nice-looking boxer as opposed to brawler,” he said.

“I am happy with his sparring.  He's doing very, very well with Seanie (Monaghan).  Seanie’s coach even said he has never seen him looking so good, so in the very short time we have been doing this seriously together he has shown some big improvements.

“Everything is about working the proper distance and positioning and along with that positioning comes the proper footwork," he added.