Andy Lee: “Boxing is in the bin in Ireland - it’s in the gutter”

The retired fighter gave his verdict on the current state of the sport

BY 22:22 Tuesday 12 June 2018, 22:22 12 Jun 2018

Andy Lee believes the reputation of boxing in Ireland will take five to 10 years to recover from the recent shooting at the Bray Boxing Club.

Pete Taylor, father of world champion boxer Katie Taylor, was seriously injured in the shooting which killed his friend Bobby Messett.

The incident follows a separate shooting at Dublin’s National Boxing Stadium in January that was believed to be related to a gangland feud.

And Lee feels the sport has a long way to go before it is welcomed fully back into the lives of Irish sport fans.

“It saddens me. Boxing is in the bin in Ireland - it’s in the gutter,” Lee said.

“And it’s going to take a lot to get it back to any semblance of respectability. But I can’t see anybody who’s not a die hard boxing fan, or a family member or friend of a certain fighter, going out and buying a ticket.

“Why would you go and take a chance with your life to go and watch a sport that at the best of times has struggled to sell?

“All this goes on and it’s the likes of Eric Donovan and fighters in Ireland who are not heard of and don’t have TV deals; who need people to buy tickets so they can fight.

“It’s never been an attractive sport for corporate Ireland. It’s going to take a long time to heal and maybe it will take a new star to get people interested again in maybe five or 10 years.

“I can’t see any big fight being put on in Dublin for a long time and it’s a sad state of affairs. But that’s where we’re at.”

James Hopper

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