HBO to televise Lee vs Saunders

Daniel Reed

I'm 23 years old from New Braunfels, Texas, USA. I am an amateur boxer myself, of National Champion calibre. Boxing and writing are my two greatest passions.

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It goes without saying that a Middleweight title fight between two high-quality boxers should be given as much press as possible. When Ireland’s Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KO’s) defends his WBO World Middleweight title against slick, unbeaten English southpaw Billy Joe Saunders (22-0, 12 KO’s), not only will it be a history-making fight, it will add more spice to the dynamic of the Middleweight division.

This will be the first time in history that two boxers of Traveller descent (Saunders of Romani Gypsy descent and Lee of Irish Traveller descent) will contest in a legitimate boxing match for a world title. There has been great interest in this fight, not only because the two boxers are high-quality and match up well, but because of the historical meaning behind it. Then add another angle. The winner of this fight could put himself in line for a unification fight with Kazakhstan’s destructive knockout machine, Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, otherwise known as GGG. Coming off a dominant stoppage win over David Lemieux, a unification fight with the winner of Lee-Saunders would be a lucrative match-up for Golovkin if a fight with the winner of Cotto-Alvarez cannot be made.

Despite the fact that this fight will be taking place in Manchester, England, UK, and will be televised by BoxNation, HBO looks interested in picking up rights to televise this fight in the US and make sure it is seen. Andy Lee especially is known very well on both sides of the pond, and to televise this fight on HBO in the US would make it easier for HBO to build-up a unification fight for GGG, which, in turn, would be televised on HBO.

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In the past, Saunders has stated that a unification fight between him and GGG, should he defeat Lee, would not happen. Saunders has not expressed interest in facing Golovkin in the past, and has in fact gone so far as to suggest he wouldn’t be interested in fighting Golovkin at all. However, a big money fight in the US that will be seen across the world may be just too good for Saunders to pass up. And we all know that Lee would have no problem making Golovkin his next fight should he do away with Saunders in fashion.

This is great news for all American boxing fans who are interested in this fight and interested in how the results of this fight could shake up the middleweight division a bit. A win over Saunders would certainly further legitimize Lee as a dangerous titleholder and easily a top 5 middleweight who would make a tough fight for anyone in the division. For Saunders, a win over Lee would catapult him onto the world stage and put him in a position to score lucrative fights should he even opt not to face Golovkin. It’s definitely an intriguing matchup that fans on both sides of the pond should now be able to appreciate.

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