Lee delays decision to turn pro

OLYMPIC boxer Andy Lee will delay a decision on whether to turn pro until next month.

The 20-year-old Limerick southpaw is mulling over an offer to turn pro with the world’s leading trainer/manager, Emanuel Steward.

The American - accompanied by the former multi-world champion, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns - met Lee in Belfast last week and, according to Lee, was very convincing.

They discussed his future as a professional boxer over dinner and left him to consideration the options.

In Athens for the Olympics both Sports Minister, John O’Donoghue, and the Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, John Treacy, said they would be doing everything possible to keep Lee in the amateur ranks until the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

While he admitted last week that the prospects of a lucrative career in the paid ranks was very enticing he said yesterday that he was still undecided.

“I have plenty of time,” he said. “I have not had any further contact with Emanuel Steward since we met in Belfast last week. He is pretty busy at the moment so I would say it could be another two to three weeks before anything happens.

“I have to work out what is best for my future, I’m not going to rush into anything.”

Should he decide to turn pro he would be a huge loss not just to Irish amateur boxing but to Irish sport which is crying out for a hero.

This year he won a bronze medal at the European senior championships and, before going to Athens, he won silver at the EU nations championships.

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