The September 19th fight between Andy Lee and BJ Saunders has been postponed until October 10th.
“I got a call from Adam Booth [Lee’s manager and trainer], who said that Andy has been battling a virus for the past couple of weeks and that his training has been spotty because of it and that they had to postpone the fight,” Lee’s promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN.com.
Saunders promoter Frank Warren said the date had to be moved to October because of the timing.
“Adam contacted me and quite correctly let me know that Andy was ill,” stated Warren “With October being such a busy month in the boxing calendar and every Saturday having a show, we could not afford to wait until November and risk going outdoors. The only viable option available to us was to move the fight to the Manchester Arena on Oct. 10. It’s a shame for Andy Lee that his dream of defending his world title in Limerick cannot be fulfilled now, but this being such a big fight neither boxer can risk going into the ring at anything less than 100 percent. Also, from Billy Joe Saunders’ point of view, he is in training camp in Spain and to not have a firm date for the fight would not be fair on him, so Manchester is the best solution.”
Manager and trainer of Andy Lee expressed the same sentiments.
“Obviously, Andy and I are gutted that this won’t be taking place in Limerick,” Booth said. “If the virus had cleared, then maybe it could have. However, after speaking with Frank, my partner in the event, we decided that the risk was just too great on many fronts. We now move forward with a new date, a new venue, and like Frank, I have had many great nights at the Manchester Arena and we are looking forward to another.”
Rumors are abounding that the event was struggling to sell tickets as the chief support of the event was Irish Olympian Katie Taylor, who recently pulled out of the event. Instead, the bout will take place in the Manchester Arena on October 10th.