Lee looking to beat Chavez Jr. and head to stardom

By Rob Smith: Andy Lee (28-1, 20 KO’s) has had the good luck of being picked out by WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s management to face him next on June 16th at the Sun Bowl, in El Paso, Texas. This is a fight that you’d have likely never have seen, but Chavez Jr. has to start facing quality fighters and not just fringe level contenders if he wants to earn respect from boxing fans.

Chavez Jr’s management must see something in the slender-looking Lee’s style or body that makes them think Chavez Jr. will have a good chance beating him, because there’s little chance that Lee would get a fight with him if he was considered a big threat. Lee would likely be skipped over for another fighter and would have wait for ages before he became the mandatory challenger. Even then, he could still be ignored if the WBC wouldn’t do anything to force Chavez Jr. to make the title defense. However, Lee doesn’t have to worry about any of that, because he’s been picked out and deemed suitable (read: beatable) for Chavez Jr.

Lee, 27, sees the Chavez Jr. fight as an avenue to stardom in the United States. He feels a win over Chavez Jr. followed by a victory over former WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez will be the ticket to him achieving super stardom. It’s going to be tough for Lee, because even if he can get by Chavez Jr., trying to beat an even better fighter like Martinez will next to impossible for Lee.

Lee said to ESPN “I can beat up Chavez and that will make me a star and then I can beat [Sergio] Martinez and that will make me a superstar. It is very exciting to be two fights away from that."

Lee is easy to hit with hard shots, and he’s going to have to take some big body and head shots from Chavez Jr. if he’s to beat him. The biggest problem for Lee is that he doesn’t come in much higher than the 160 pound limit for the division. Chavez Jr. could come into the fight weighing over 180 pounds on the night of the fight, and that’s a big fighter for Lee. It doesn’t matter that Chavez Jr. can’t punch his weight or that he lacks hand speed. Just being that big will enable Chavez Jr. to give Lee all kinds of problems on the inside.

It’s obviously going to be little benefit for Chavez Jr. if Lee can keep him on the outside all night long, because Chavez Jr. is a very mediocre fighter on the outside. He’s spent too many years focusing on trying to be an in close fighter to the point where his game is pretty much based on fighting guys in close.

Article posted on 06.04.2012

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