Andy Lee, Ireland’s former WBO world middleweight champion, retires

Ireland’s former WBO world middleweight champion Andy Lee has called time on his 12-year boxing career.

The 33-year-old London-born fighter from Limerick revealed on Tuesday night it was the “right time” to retire.

He secured the WBO title in 2014 by overcoming Russian Matt Korobov but then lost the belt to England’s Billy Joe Saunders a year later.

“I’ve actually achieved everything I wanted to in the game,” Lee said.

“I’ve had an amazing career and an amazing life through boxing. It’s defined my life.

“I kept myself available to see what my options were but none of the fights or none of the offers were big enough to get me to go back.”

Lee won 35 of his 39 professional fights, became Olympic champion in Athens in 2004 and left the amateur circuit to be guided by Emanuel Steward in 2006.

Lee’s mentor died two years before he won the world title, conquering the previously unbeaten Korobov in a sixth-round stoppage in Las Vegas.

A draw with American Peter Quillin followed five months later, only for Lee to relinquish the title in December 2015 after being outpointed by Saunders in Manchester.

Lee fought once more with a points victory over American KeAndrae Leatherwood at Madison Square Garden in New York in March 2017.