Andy Lee to defend his WBO title against former champion Peter Quillin

06/02/2015 08:15

Andy Lee celebrates becoming WBO middleweight world champion after victory over Matt Korobov at the The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Photograph: INPHO/Raymond Spencer

WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) will make his first defence against "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs) on the April 11 Danny Garcia-Lamont Peterson card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Mandatory challenger Billy Joe Saunders (21-0, 11 KOs) has agreed to step aside and allow Lee to defend against Quillin.

Sanders earned his mandatory position when he defeated previously unbeaten Chris Eubank Jr by split decision in a title eliminator in November.

Lee's promoter Lou DiBella and Saunders' promoter Frank Warren worked out a deal for the Brit to step aside for an undisclosed payment.

Ireland's Lee, 30, was set to make his first defence against Saunders in his homeland, but the money was much greater to face American Quillin, the man who vacated the belt that Lee won by sixth-round knockout against Matt Korobov in December.

Quillin, 31,  won the belt in October 2012 when he knocked down Hassan N'Dam six times en route to a unanimous decision win before making three defences. Previous mandatory challenger Korobov was set to challenge Quillin for the WBO title in November, but Quillin relinquished it because his manager Al Haymon did not want him to face Korobov on a Roc Nation Sports card after rap mogul Jay Z's promotional company won the purse bid for the fight.

Now Quillin, who has not fought since April when he easily outpointed Lukas Konecny, will get the chance to win his belt back.

Saunders, 25, who is expected to make his American debut on the card, will face the winner.