It is a new age and it was a new Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (46-0-1, 31 KOs) that defended his WBC Middleweight crown last Saturday night in the border town of El Paso Texas. After a small delay by the champion Chavez, both fighters made a grand entrance by arriving in Limousines, that is separately. Yes that was very clever, but it was just a little over the top. Nevertheless, it added a little amusement and something fun for the many Chavez and Lee spectators that saw a good night of boxing.
This time Chavez had no problems making the weight and he came into the ring in great shape, just as his opponent, Andy Lee (28-2, 20
But Saturday night he proved he was ready for the big boys (no pun intended), and he put on a great show of boxing skills for all of the world to see. In the first and second round, Lee used his height and long jab to make it clear that he came to fight, as Chavez tried in vain to get in close. Lee was able to use his jab and get in a good left hand to the head of Chavez in the first round and toward the end of the round Chavez landed a hard left to the head of Lee. Lee came in with a great game plan under his trainer, the great Emanuel Steward, and HBO Harold Lederman actually had Lee ahead 2-0 at the end of the second round. But even though Lee had won the first two rounds, you could begin to see what was coming ahead as Chavez landed some hard body punches at the end of the second round.
In the third round, Chavez began his march forward, something he did till the end of the fight. Chavez and Lee then began to trade hard punches in the middle of the ring and then Lee had Chavez on the ropes. Chavez then fought his way out and yelled at Lee to “Come On,” as the crowd began to get crazy. After the bell sounded, Roach was telling Chavez to “Be First” at the punch, and that is exactly what he did the rest of the fight.
Before the beginning of the fourth round, Emanuel Steward was telling Lee that Chavez was getting tired, but that was not the case. Chavez was just getting started, and he appeared to have no fear in his eyes. As the round began, Chavez continued to press Lee and land punches, then Lee caught Chavez with a sharp uppercut, as Steward could be heard in the background saying “he’s getting tired.” Good coaching, but again Chavez didn’t appear to be tired at all. Chavez then landed his own uppercut and battered Lee in the corner with lefts and then hard right hands to the body.
Throughout the fifth and sixth rounds you could see that the punches Chavez was throwing were the same ones that his famous father did in his career. His punches were strong and his body punches reminded me of his Father, the great Julio Cesar Chavez (107-6, 86KO‘s). Chavez then began to use his left jab to the head to set up the hard right hand body punches that eventually began to takes it’s toll on the Irishman Lee.
Finally, in the seventh round, Chavez began to connect with both hands to the head and body of the taller Lee who could only cover up. Lee withstood the punches as Chavez began to pound him on the ropes. Chavez then backed Lee up in the corner and he landed a barrage of punches as referee Cole watched closely. After Chavez was landing punch after punch on Lee and then landed a vicious right that snapped Lee’s head back, the fight was stopped. If the new Chavez can come to the ring in the kind of shape and sharpness he did on Saturday night, he will be a fighter to be reckoned with. Hopefully he will continue to take on better and better opponents and then fight Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KO’s), former WBC middleweight champion and current WBC Diamond middleweight champion. If he can beat him, then he will be the other superstar of
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All photos © Stacey Verbeek