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Showtime airing Lee-Saunders

Lee will instead face Quillin next (Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank)

Lee will instead face Quillin next (Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank)

Showtime is set to televise the WBO middleweight title fight between champion Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders live from Manchester, England on December 19.

“We’re excited to deliver this important matchup of top middleweights to the U.S. audience,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports.

“The 160-pound class is one of boxing’s hottest and deepest divisions right now, and the winner of this fight should position himself for a major showdown or unification in 2016.”

Irish native Lee, (34-2-1, 24 KOs) is coming off a title defending decision win against Peter Quillen in April.

“It’s great that my fans in the U.S. will get to see the fight between me and Saunders and I guarantee it’s going to be exciting,” Lee said.

Saunders is from the United Kingdom and is the top rated contender, who’s last bout was a TKO win over Yoannan Bloyer in July.

“This is a massive night for me and I’m excited that it’s going out live to America,” Saunders said.

“The U.S. viewers will get to see just what I can do when I face Lee and become world champion. It’s a big boost for me and takes the fight to another level when American TV comes on board and then you know it’s a big fight on the world stage. I hope that (Gennady) Golovkin and (Miguel) Cotto will be both watching because I’m fast approaching their level and they’ll get to see what I’m all about.”

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