Lee was to top the bill at Madison Square Garden on March 16 but that show has been scrapped to the Limerick man’s dismay.
Said Lee: “When I got news the plug was pulled on my headliner fight, I was bitterly disappointed, not just for myself but for all the other boxer’s on the card and all the people from home who had spent money to travel to New York. After weeks of training, preparation and build up, to be told that it was all for nothing was a big let down. I was physically and mentally prepared for the fight and it would have been the perfect comeback after my recent layoff.”
Lee has endured a lengthy lay off to recover from surgery to repair a cut eye suffered in his win over Willie Gibbs in Limerick last July.
The main event at the 02 is Bernard Dunne’s bid for Ricardo Cordoba’s WBA Super Bantamweight title in the first world title fight on Irish soil in 13 years. World and European amateur champ Katie Taylor along with world junior champ, Ray Moylett are in action while a third amateur contest sees 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes in action.
The professional side of the undercard is exciting with Lee joining a line-up that already features unbeaten star Andy Murray in a European Union title fight and Jim Rock taking on Italian warrior, Alessio Furlan with prospects Michael Kelly and Anthony Fitzgerald also in action.
Meanwhile World Youth star David Joe Joyce has withdrawn from the Irish squad for this week’s Danas Pozniakas Olympic Youth tournament in Lithuania after picking up a hand injury.
The St Michael’s Athy middleweight, who claimed bronze at the 2008 AIBA World Youth Championships in Guadalajara Mexico, injured his left hand and has been replaced by Bernard Roe of the Dublin Docklands club.
The IABA have named a four-man squad for the eight-nation box off which begins in Vilnius tomorrow.
AIBA World Youth champion Ray Moylette (bronze), Tyrone McKenna (bronze) and Jason Quigley (silver) finished amongst the medals at the 2008 Danas Pozniakas tournament.
Irish senior champions Con Sheehan and John Joe Nevin — who represented Ireland at the Beijing Olympics — Mark McCullagh, Anthony Cacace and Michael Collins finished in podium positions at the 2007 event.