Andy Lee will face a familiar foe at The O2, Dublin on March 21 when he takes on former European title challenger, Alex Sipos on the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night.
Lee was a late addition to an already packed O2 line-up after a scheduled headline appearance at Madison Square Garden fell through last week.
Now, the Limerick southpaw will look to continue his rise to the top of the middleweight division with a win over Sipos, who has a enjoyed successful career both in the amateur and pro ranks courtesy of a World Military Gold Medal and a challenge for the European Middleweight title as a pro.
The two men are already familiar with each other, having sparred at a Wladimir Klitschko training camp in Austria last year.
Lee’s trainer, the legendary Emanuel Steward, was very impressed with Sipos during those sessions and even invited the German to train at his famous Kronk Gym in Detroit.
While Sipos never made it Stateside, he’s coming to Dublin and planning on making Steward wish he’d never set eyes on him in the first place.
Promoter Brian Peters believes that Sipos could be a real danger to Lee’s title ambitions. “I saw some of their sparring sessions in Austria and Sipos is a very, very good fighter, but having been in there with him, Andy knows that better than anyone.
“It’s an interesting matchup becuase Sipos gave a very good account of himself when he challenged for The European title in Finland. A few people at ringside believe he should have got the verdict, but it went the hometown fighter's way.”
The Munich native has 19 wins and 2 draws from his 26 pro outings and his only stoppage defeat came courtesy of an elbow injury. Peters believes a win over Sipos will allow Lee to leapfrog the European ratings.
“I think Andy proved last time out in Limerick though just how good a fighter he is when he stopped Willie Gibbs,” said Peters in a reference to Lee’s thrilling win over the Philadelphia dangerman last July.
“If we get half as good a fight at The O2 next weekend, it will lift the roof off the place and really whet the appetite for the main event.”
That main event will create history as for the first time ever a Dubliner challenges for a world title in his native city with Bernard Dunne bidding for Ricardo Cordoba’s WBA title.
An explosive undercard will feature unbeaten Cavan star Andy Murray challenging Spain’s Daniel Rasilla for the European Union Lightweight title. Jim “The Pink Panther” Rock faces Italy’s Alessio Furlan in what should be a real war at middleweight while prospects Michael Kelly and Anthony Fitzgerald round out the professional side of the bill.
Our amateur stars are in action as well with world and European Champ Katie Taylor raking on three-time Pan American champ, Caroline Barry of the USA with Olympic Medallist, Paddy Barnes and World Youth champion, Ray Moylette, also in action.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night are priced from €50 and are available now from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie). Tickets are also available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.