Feature | Jul 22 2015

Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders fighting for pride, history and their community

The Lee-Saunders press conference is a study in intense respect, writes John Dennen
Andy Lee Billy Joe Saunders

ANDY LEE and Billy Joe Saunders met at a press conference in London today, after last week’s media event (which you can watch HERE) at Thomond Park, the stadium which will host their September 19 WBO middleweight title fight.

The press conference was a study in intense respect. Neither man bad-mouthed the other but the importance of this fight for both challenger and champion was left abundantly clear.

Andy Lee became the first boxer from the Traveller community to win a world title. This next bout will be the first world title fight to be contested by two Travellers. “There’s a lot of talk about the fight in our community,” said Billy Joe. “We’re both proud, proud men… We’re making history with this fight.

“I think about it all the time. I can’t believe I’m here now. I’m touching distance from my dream.”

The result, whatever it is, will haunt them both. “We won’t be shamed,” Lee said firmly, “but the loser will be known as the loser.

“We’re both pure boxers in a sense. What we will put on is a display of boxing skill, speed and power.”

Katie Taylor could make an appearance on the undercard at Thomond Park READ MORE HERE