Former WBO Middleweight will return in the ring on March 18th and feels refreshed
Andy Lee is hopeful that his upcoming New York fight will put him back in the frame for title fights in the middleweight ranks.
The former WBO Middleweight champion will take on US boxer KeAndrae Leatherwood on the under-card for Gennady Golovkin's fight with Danny Jacobs on March 18th at Madison Square Gardens.
Speaking to Off The Ball, the Limerick fighter intends to move one step at a time.
"This is the first step. I'll get active again, I'll move myself up in the rankings. KeAndrae Leatherwood is a good fighter, a serious opponent. I know I'm in for a hard fight. But this fight will get me active again and then push on and put myself back in the frame for fighting those guys," he said, adding that it's almost putting himself in the "shop window" for fights against the top middleweight contenders again.
"I want the big fights and I'm ready to fight the winner of the main event in the next fight or the fight after that."
The fight will mark his first bout since December 2015 and he had always intended to return to the ring.
"I never really knew how long I would be out. I always intended to come back and with the passing of the New Year, I was looking at that as a landmark kind of a passing," he said.
Part of his absence was recovering from the defeat to Billy Joe Saunders when he relinquished his belt.
"I needed a rest and that's what I did. I got to do some things that I wouldn't be able to do like go to friends' weddings and travel a bit and go on a few holidays with my wife which in the last three years, we've rarely had time to do. So I enjoyed that as well and now I'm back in the gym and as I said, I always intended to," he said, adding that he feels refreshed.
At 32, he has been thinking of the future and in terms of retirement, he said: "To be brutally honest, I only want to fight for another year, maybe 16 months. I can't see myself going too far beyond that."