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Andy Lee – Billy Joe Saunders moved to October 10th in Manchester, UK

Andy Lee Billy Joe SaundersBy Scott Gilfoid: Poor WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) will now be defending his WBO title in front of his opponent Billy Joe Saunders’ fans on October 10th in Manchester, UK instead of on September 19th in Thomond Park in Limerick, Ireland. Lee, 31, came down with a virus. That’s what’s being said. Dan Rafael of ESPN had a different take on why the Lee-Saunders fight is being moved to October 10th.


“The word is the real reason Lee-Saunders was ppd is because they were selling no tickets in Limerick. #boxing,” Rafael said on his Twitter.

Oh my, that doesn’t sound good at all, does it? So if this is true, then they were a little too ambitious in staging a fight in a large stadium in Ireland. Lee has been fighting all over the place since he turned pro, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all that a fight involving him wouldn’t sell a lot of tickets.

This is obviously bad news for Lee, because instead of him fighting in front of his own boxing fans in Ireland, he’ll now find himself fighting in front of a large pack of Saunders’ fans in England. I’m not sure that it’ll negatively impact Lee though, because he’s been at this game long enough for him to shut out the fans.

It could actually work in Lee’s favor if Saunders fights too bravely by taking more chances than he normally does due to the fans egging him on. Saunders doesn’t have much power, and it would take is for him to get a little too brave against Lee. I could see Saunders get nailed by a heavy shot and knocked out. Saunders looked really flabby in his last fight in weighing in at light heavyweight for his 4th round stoppage win over little known Yoann Bloyer last July. For a 25-year-old, Saunders had the body of someone in his 40s. I couldn’t believe how a professional fighter would let himself get so out of shape at such an early age. I mean, if you know that your body is what you use for your profession, then how in the world do you let yourself get as flabby as Saunders did before the Bloyer fight? It’s as if Saunders was celebrating his win over Chris Eubank Jr. for the last seven months after. All that blubber on Saunders’ frame had me thinking he must have been really eating like mad.

“Obviously, Andy and I are gutted that this won’t be taking place in Limerick,” Booth said via ESPN.com. “If the virus had cleared, then maybe it could have. However, after speaking with Frank, my partner in the event, we decided that the risk was just too great on many fronts. We now move forward with a new date, a new venue, and like Frank, I have had many great nights at the Manchester Arena and we are looking forward to another.”

The extra time will help Saunders burn off more lard because he’s going to need. To get the blubber off, I think it might take him at least two months. This is perfect now because it’s a full two months for Saunders to melt down to 160.


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