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Lee relishing 'home' support for world title bout
27 Aug 2015 17:05
Andy Lee believes that his world title defence will be like fighting at a home venue due to the huge number of Irish fight fans set to travel to the Manchester Arena on 10 October.
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The Limerick man is defending his WBO Middleweight title against Billy Joe Saunders in the rescheduled fight, which was originally scheduled to take place at Thomond Park.
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Lee had to set a new date due to a virus that he picked up and while the fight now takes place in England against an Englishman, albeit a southerner, the champion believes the loyal Irish fight fans will take over the Manchester venue for the title fight.
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“I’m preparing for 12 rounds but my record shows that I’m one of the biggest punchers in the middleweight division." - Andy Lee
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“It doesn’t surprise me to hear that there is a massive contingent of fans coming over from Ireland,” said Lee. “They always show tremendous support to me and other Irish sports people.
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“I’m humbled at the response for tickets - it just goes to show the loyalty of Irish fans and their love for sport.
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“It’s going to be like fighting at home when I’m in Manchester because of all the Irish in the arena. I know they’re going to make it a very hostile atmosphere for Billy Joe and I intend to repay them by making it a night not to forget – it’s going to be very special.”
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And while there will be a huge Irish contingent, coupled with the local diaspora, Lee will not be considering the Irish-English element, and is focusing solely on taking care of a very dangerous Saunders, who he knows will be at his best.
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“Billy Joe is a very talented fighter and I know that he’s going to leave it all in the ring on October 10th so you’ll see the best of me that night,” said Lee.
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“I’ve been on this stage before and know what it’s like to be in world championship fights so I have that advantage against Saunders but in no way will I be underestimating him. There’s things he does well and things he doesn’t do so well; my job is to exploit those flaws.
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“I’m preparing for 12 rounds but my record shows that I’m one of the biggest punchers in the middleweight division so I have that in my locker if I need to use it.
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"I really believe this fight will be one to remember, because both of us can box and fight, but I am the one with the world class knockout power, and that will be the difference.”
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The Lee-Saunders clash headlines a stunning triple world title fight card, with WBO lightweight world champion Terry Flanagan defending his belt against Diego Magdaleno and Liam Smith battling for the vacant WBO light-middleweight title against John Thompson.
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