TALK quickly turned to Gennady Golovkin at the latest press conference to promote the twice-postponed WBO middleweight showdown between Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders. The fearsome Kazakh obliterated David Lemieux at the weekend to unify two of the titles, leaving Lee’s one of the two major belts missing from his collection.
The Irishman would welcome a shot at Golovkin should he beat Saunders on December 19 at the Manchester Arena.
“Yes certainly,” said Lee. “If I come through against Billy Joe that’s the fight I want. No one else can pose the questions of Golovkin that I could. I can hit as hard as him and people freeze when they fight him, they’re scared, and the fear of being hit is worse than actually being hit.”
Saunders and his promoter Frank Warren would not be so keen, for the time being at least.
“If you’ve just won a world title you don’t want to then go and meet Golivkin,” said Saunders. “I’d be confident of beating him but maybe in 18 months I’d like that fight.”
“I wouldn’t let him have it,” Warren interrupted. “Being able to do what needs to be done against Golovkin is hard. I’d want Bill to get more experience at world level.
“I believe if Bill comes through [against Lee] we’d look at the right route.”
Warren then admitted that the Golovkin camp had approached him about a potential Saunders showdown in the past.
“We had a little talk with them before,” Warren admitted. “The carrot is there but it will stay there for a while yet. Golovkin is going to be around for a long time.”
One reporter suggested Lee had already agreed to fight Golovkin in the future.
“There are no talks,” Lee said firmly. “It would be stupid of me to look past Billy Joe Saunders.
“The main thing is that we’re both putting it on the line and we’re going to have to live with the result for the rest of our lives,” Lee continued. “We’re rivals in our community, in the world and our division. This fight is so important.”
Liam Smith will make the first defence of his WBO light-middleweight title on the bill. The opponent will be unveiled next week, and the Liverpool star revealed that veteran Shane Mosley has messaged him two nights ago on Twitter asking for the contest.
“That’s definitely a fight I want but I think December might be a bit too soon to make that. I’d like it in March or April in Liverpool.”
Warren added: “That’s the fight we want if we can make it.”
Terry Flanagan, the WBO lightweight boss, will also defend his title on the bumper card. His opponent, and that of Smith, will be announced next week.