Andy Lee: Ireland's former WBO world middleweight champion retires

Andy Lee (left) stopped Matt Korobov in six rounds to win the WBO middleweight title in December 2014
Andy Lee (left) beat Russian Matt Korobov to land the WBO middleweight title in December 2014

Ireland's former WBO world middleweight champion Andy Lee has announced his retirement at the age of 33.

London-born Lee told Irish broadcaster Newstalk "now is the right time" to end a professional career which began after he boxed at the 2004 Olympics.

The Limerick fighter clinched the WBO title by beating Russian Matt Korobov in 2014 but lost the belt to England's Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015.

"I've actually achieved everything I wanted to in the game," said Lee.

"I've had an amazing career and an amazing life through boxing. It's defined my life.

"I kept myself available to see what my options were but none of the fights or none of the offers were big enough to get me to go back," added Lee, who became a father last year.

The majority of Lee's professional career was guided by legendary Detroit-based trainer Emanuel Steward.

Lee's mentor died two years before the Irishman landed the world title as he defeated previously unbeaten Korobov in a sixth-round stoppage in Las Vegas.

Five months later, Lee drew with American Peter Quillin in a bout which was downgraded to a non-title fight after the challenger failed to make the weight.

However, Lee lost the title in December 2015 after being outpointed by Saunders in Manchester.

The Irishman had only one further professional contest as he defeated American KeAndrae Leatherwood on points at Madison Square Garden in New York last March.

That left his professional record as 35 wins, three defeats and one draw.