ANDY LEE’S defence of his WBO world middleweight title against Billy Joe Saunders has been postponed from its original September 19 date.

The pair will now meet on October 10 in Manchester, rather than at Thomond Park in Lee’s hometown, Limerick in Ireland.

Frank Warren, who is co-promoting the show alongside Lee’s trainer and manager Adam Booth, confirmed that Lee is suffering from a virus and will need extra time to recover and prepare properly for the fight.

“Adam contacted me and quite correctly let me know that Andy was ill,” he said in a statement.

“Whilst they were prepared to gamble on him recovering in time, there is so much at stake for so many people, common sense had to prevail. We simply cannot risk this fight not happening and therefore the decision was made that we should postpone the fight to ensure it does.

“With October being such a busy month in the boxing calendar and every Saturday having a show, we could not afford to wait until November and risk going outdoors.

“The only viable option available to us was to move the fight to the Manchester Arena on the 10th October alongside Terry Flanagan’s defence of his WBO Lightweight title in a show that is shaping up to be one of the best cards in years.”