|WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Christmas Cracker||MANCHESTER|
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The premier 160lb fighters are raring to get in the ring and decide who the best is after seeing two previous postponements of their fight - Lee with a viral infection and Saunders with a cut eye - and both are promising to close the year with an explosive ending.
Irish hero Lee has forged his reputation as fans’ favourite with his thrilling sixth round knockout of Matt Korobov last December and then holding top American Peter Quillin to a draw in April.
He’s been frustrated with the delay and wants to deal with his English challenger so he can move on in his plans to unify the division. He said:
“The delay in the fight between me and Saunders has just made me more determined, if that is possible. Once I have beaten him on the 19th December I can move on in my career and unify the titles. My fans have been very patient and I'll give them what they have been waiting for as a Christmas present, beating Saunders and remaining world champion. I’m a proud man and I'm prepared to fight 'tooth and nail' to keep my title. Saunders is in for the fight of his life.”
Saunders, the undefeated WBO mandatory challenger, is equally excited to finally get it on with his rival.
“Like Lee I just want to get in the ring and fight. We’ve talked and talked for months, now we just want to fight. I gave him the chance to fight for the world against Korobov when I stepped aside so now I want my chance. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s here now and nobody is going to stop me. This isn’t going to be a Merry Christmas for him, more like the Nightmare Before Christmas. We’re both fighting men and one of us isn’t going to be standing at the end, and that won’t be me.”