Andy Lee treated fans in Limerick to an exclusive exhibition on September 19th, as he attempted to make up for the bitter disappointment resulting from the collapse of his Thomond park title fight with Billy Joe Saunders.
Okay, a sparring exhibition at Frank Hogan’s car showroom, on Limerick’s Dublin Road, isn’t quite a world title fight at a packed Thomond park, but you have to admire Andy Lee for trying, especially given the circumstances.
The former Olympian has every right to feel sorry for himself at the moment.
His dream of defending a world title on home ground was dashed last month when he picked up a virus during training camp. This meant that the fight had to be rescheduled for a new date and, even more devastating, a new venue.
To make matters worse, Saunders then suffered a cut in sparring, leading to a second postponement.
With Billy Joe’s status still unknown, Lee finds himself in a frustrating limbo.
Yet, Andy was obviously more concerned about those fans who missed out on the big night of boxing action they were promised, than about his own woes.
According to the Limerick Leader, the WBO middleweight champion contacted his former amateur coach Ken Moore a few weeks ago, looking to borrow a boxing ring for an exhibition. He soon followed-up with two additional requests.
“We had a boxing ring, so we were more than happy to give him the ring. He came back and asked me would I do a bit of pad work, and I said that would be no problem. He came back the third time, chancing his arm, and asked me if I could arrange some guys to spar with him”
Moore was able to secure the services of two quality local amateurs, Derek Duhig and Cormac Long, as well as ex- professional Jamie Power.
With the ring and a trio of capable sparring partners secured, the champ went ahead with his exhibition on the very night he was originally scheduled to face Saunders.
Lee sparred two rounds with each of the three fighters on hand, much to the delight of what the Limerick newspaper described as an “enthusiastic” crowd.
The likeable Lee’s reputation as one of boxing’s true gentlemen is well established, but he will certainly have done it no harm with this wonderful gesture.