Andy Lee to face Carl Daniels on Erin Go Brawl Card

By George Kimball


Andy Lee to face Carl Daniels on Erin Go Brawl Card

At noontime Tuesday, Andy Lee still didn’t know who he was going to fight three nights later, but the suspense was allayed an hour or two later when former WBA junior middleweight champion Carl Daniels was confirmed as the opponent for the unbeaten Irish middleweight on Friday’s “Erin Go Brawl” card at the Madison Square Garden Theatre.

Daniels’ nomination ended a week-long cat-and-house game that had seen at least four other opponents come and go for Lee’s featured bout on the John Duddy-Anthony Bonsante undercard. Lee was originally supposed to fight Cleitan Conceicao, but the Brazilian took himself out of the running by losing on the March 3 Rafael Marquez-Israel Vasquez card in California.

Lee was at that point still in Europe, having accompanied manager/trainer Emanuel Steward to Spain, where he shared training camp quarters with Wladimir Klitschko. Irish Ropes, the promoters of the Garden show, had proposed veteran Levan Easley as a substitute, but Steward had misgivings. (“Easley weighs over 170 pounds,” said Steward.)

Since arriving back in the States on Monday, Steward had accepted two other opponents, but, said Lee, “one of them got arrested and the other one couldn’t get off work.”

Daniels (49-10-1) has lost six on the trot since being stopped by Bernard Hopkins in 2002 and Chad Dawson in 2004, but has gone the distance in each of his last four outings.

“(Daniels) is an old pro with a lot of experience,” said Lee (7-0), who signed with Steward after representing Ireland in the 2004 Athens Olympics. “He’d like to take a young fighter like myself and use his tricks on him.”

Lee and Steward plan to arrive in New York Wednesday evening. Main event performers Duddy and Bonsante, along with the other Erin Go Brawl supporting cast performers, will meet with the media at a midtown press conference scheduled for lunchtime on Wednesday.


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