New York, NY (4/11/14) - This Saturday night, top-rated former middleweight world-title challenger "Irish" Andy Lee (31-2, 22KO's) returns to action when he takes on Frank Horta (34-12-5, 13KO's) in an eight-round special attraction at the Blue Water Dokken in Esbjerg, Denmark. It will be the first bout of 2014 for the former Olympian and the fourth since joining forces with one of the U.K.'s premiere boxing coaches, Adam Booth.
While the fight on Saturday is viewed by many to simply be a stay-busy fight for Lee, who saw his world championship shot against Gennady "GGG" Golovkin be put on hold after the unexpected death of GGG's father, the bout does in fact have more implications than that for the 29-year-old Irishman.
A lifelong middleweight, currently rated #6 by the WBC, #11 by the WBA and #12 by the WBO, Lee decided to make the move down to junior middleweight and immediately become a force in the 154lb. division.
"I'm looking forward to fighting Saturday. Frank Horta is an experienced opponent from whom I expect a tough fight. I hope to win in style and move onto bigger fights. In the past, I made 160 pounds comfortably and by making some changes to my diet, by eating how I should've been, I can now make 154. I'm performing better than ever and look forward to some big fights and opportunities at 154," said Lee.
"We are looking forward to seeing Andy perform on Saturday night in his first fight at junior middleweight. A victory on Saturday night could set Andy up with a spot on the Cotto-Martinez undercard on June 7, on HBO PPV. So this fight definitely has heavy implications," said promoter Lou DiBella.
Having represented his native country of Ireland in the 2004 Olympics, before successfully turning pro in 2006, the rangy 6'2" southpaw has seen his body go through a complete transformation since he began working with the highly regarded Booth in early 2013. Lee, who is known for having very good power with both hands, as witnessed by his 71% knockout ratio, will seemingly have a significant size and power advantage with the move down in weight. Lee's losses as a pro have come against middleweight contender Brian Vera in 2008 (whom Lee later convincingly defeated in their rematch) and in his first world championship opportunity at then-WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2012. Following the loss to Chavez, Lee has won three bouts in a row, including two inside the distance.
Big things are expected for Lee in his new division, but he must first take care of business on Saturday night.