Boxing


Andy Lee and McKay set to battle it out for Irish title

Unbeaten sensation Andy Lee will face the biggest test of his professional career to date when he contests the vacant Irish Super Middleweight title with Jason McKay on the Ladrokes.com Fight Night at the National Stadium, Dublin on Saturday, December 15th. If will be Lee's first attempt at a title in the professional ranks as he tackles the reigning Irish Light Heavyweight champion in what promises to be a mouth watering clash between two of Ireland's best. McKay, from Banbridge has only 1 defeat in his 19 pro fights and he's relishing the chance to ruin Lee's perfect record..

“I've been looking for a big fight like this for ages,” explained McKay “and finally it's here. There was talk of me maybe fighting John Duddy at one point and then I was matched with Matthew Macklin for the Irish title but that fell through as well but now I have the Lee fight and it's a big chance for me. It just shows you that boxing's a real roller coaster. I've had a few disappointments this year with fights falling through but this is a chance for me to end the year with a bang.”

McKay has long been the man described as “the last Irish man to beat John Duddy” courtesy of a triumph over the Derryman in the Ulster Amateur Championships. Now he wants to be known as the man that ended Andy Lee's 13 fight unbeaten run in the pro ranks.

“Andy was a brilliant amateur. You only need to look at the medals he won to see that. But the pro game is very, very different and I believe this is the first time he'll have a really ambitious opponent in the opposite corner.

“With the greatest of respect to some of his opponents they weren't there to win, they were there to survive. I'll be there to win, you can be sure of that and with my experience let's see how he likes it when he's asked some serious questions in the later rounds.”

McKay certainly hasn’t been overly impressed with the calibre of Lee’s opposition to date.
“People say he fought a former world champion in just his eighth fight but when Carl Daniels was in his prime Andy was still in diapers. He took a round longer than Stephen Haughian to beat a blown up light welterweight and Stephen's only a welterweight himself. And Ciaran Healy only had a weeks notice for his fight with Lee so he certainly hasn’t been tested yet but I can guarantee you I'll test him.”

The County Down man also has a strong argument for claiming that he too should still have a perfect record. His sole blemish came in November of 2004 when he was on the wrong end of a controversial points decision to Paul Buchanan.
McKay floored the Englishman in the fifth but was never credited with the knockdown and despite appearing to dominate the fight Buchanan was awarded a one point victory on the referee's scorecard.

McKay won't be leaving anything to chance against Lee having already sparred with Howard Eastman and Brian Magee in the build up to the fight.

Meanwhile Lee is refusing to get drawn into a war of words with McKay and says he'll do his talking come fight night. “I'm not one for making predictions because you can say what you like but ultimately your performance in the ring should speak for itself.

“It's a big night for me though because I'll be fighting for the Irish title and headlining a card at home for the first time. I think it's a great fight and hopefully another step on the ladder to where I want to get to.

“I've seen Jason a couple of time and he's very solid. He does all the fundamentals very well so it has the makings of a great fight. I think it will probably be the hardest fight of my career to date because I'm meeting a guy who's in his prime and like he say he’ll be in there to win the title, I’ve no doubt about that.”

A second Irish title fight on the undercard will see Eugene Heagney and Colin Moffett clash for the Irish bantamweight title in a rematch of a thrilling contest at the National Stadium in July. Heagney came out on top in that one taking a narrow points win but with the Irish title on the line Moffett will be even more fired up for the return.

The card also features prospects, John O'Donnell, Eddie Hyland, Declan Timlin, Michael Sweeney, Lukasz Wawrzyczek and Paul Truscott.

Tickets for the Ladrokes.com Fight Night priced from €40 are on sale now from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets.

Article posted on 04.12.2007



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