Andy Lee's first title defense will come against Peter Quillin - the very same guy who vacated the belt which allowed Lee to win it. Yesterday, mandatory challenger Billy Joe Saunders was paid some nice change to step aside to allow this match to take place.
"After tens of hours of work we completed a step-aside agreement and executed it," DiBella said. "Lee versus Quillin will be for the WBO championship and Billy Joe Saunders gets the next shot.
"That's part of the deal. It's possible Saunders could be on the undercard of Lee-Quillin, but he will get an interim fight regardless, possibly in the States. The date, venue and television network will be forthcoming."
Though not yet officially confirmed, sources are saying the bout will take place on April 11th on primetime NBC, apparently as the co-feature to Garcia-Peterson. Andy Lee won the vacant title when he again had a come-from-behind stoppage to beat Matt Korobov in the 6th round last December.
Saunders intimated on twitter that he received a six-figure sum to allow Lee-Quillin to go through as a title fight - a pretty darn good payday for not even having to lace 'em up.
"And if I didn't step aside Andy lee was vacating his world title," Saunders wrote. "I want to fight a champion. Not for vacant belt."
Lou DiBella, who promotes Lee, is thrilled to have this match with Quillin instead of Saunders:
"It's a great match and it's a huge opportunity for Andy, who wanted to defend his title," DiBella said. "It's also a great opportunity for Quillin to get the title back. But it's a really good matchup of styles. They aren't going to run from each other. There will be bombs thrown. Pete is strong and a come forward kind of guy, but Andy is a go-to-battle warrior with a good chin and he's got that tremendous equalizer, the killer right hook. That may play into one of Peter's weaknesses.
"So I think it's a sensational fight. There are certain fights you know will be action fights and this is gonna be an action fight, a fan-friendly action fight between two of the best middleweights in world."
So - who do you kind folks favor in a fight between Lee and Quillin? Do you think Saunders has a good chance of taking out the victor?