Sunday, February 05, 2023  |


WBO orders Andy Lee-Billy Joe Saunders purse bid

Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank

Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank


A purse bid has been ordered for Tuesday for newly-crowned WBO middleweight titleholder Andy Lee and mandatory challenger Billy Joe Saunders, according to WBO General Secretary Jose Izquierdo.

Lee (34-2, 24 knockouts) was ordered to face Saunders (21-0, 11 KOs) last month with an agreement to be reached by Jan. 12. The minimum purse bid is $200,000 with 75 percent of the winning bid going to Lee and 25 to Saunders.

“The Andy Lee versus Billy Joe Saunders purse bid will take place on Jan. 27 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in London,” said Izqierdo. “It will be presided over by our Europe Vice President…, so we’ll see how that goes and we’ll see what happens.”

Lee is promoted by Lou DiBella and Saunders by Frank Warren.

A 30-year-old southpaw, Lee has won six consecutive fights, four by stoppage, since being stopped in the seventh round by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June 2012. Lee is coming off last month’s sixth-round technical knockout over previously undefeated left-hander Matt Korobov for the title vacated by Peter Quillin. Prior to facing Korobov, Lee had earned a fifth-round knockout of John Jackson in June.

A 25-year-old southpaw, Saunders was last in action for November’s split decision victory over previously undefeated Chris Eubank Jr. Eubank represented Saunders’ fourth consecutive win over an unbeaten fighter, having followed unanimous decisions over Gary O’Sullivan and John Ryder in July and September 2013, as well as an eighth-round knockout of Emanuele Blandamura last July.

Saunders-Eubank had been designated an eliminator for the right to face the winner between Lee and Korobov.

In the meantime, DiBella is reportedly considering a bout between Lee and former WBO titleholder Peter Quillin, who is advised by Al Haymon. If completed, Lee-Quillin would happen on the April 11 undercard of a 143-pound clash between RING/WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and IBF titleholder Lamont Peterson, according to

“I can’t give you an update, yet,” said DiBella. “I’ll know more in the next few days.”