Chavez Jr.Too Big for Andy Lee

By John G. Thompson: Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KO's) weighed a quarter pound less than Andy Lee (28-2, 20 KO's) the day before the fight, but this evening at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas Chavez was simply too big for Lee. He bullied Lee around the ring from the third round on and stopped Lee in the seventh to retain his WBC middleweight belt on HBO World Championship Boxing.

Chavez of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico is the son of a true legend and one of boxing's all time greats. Chavez Jr. won the WBC Middleweight title in June of last year against Sebastian Zbik and has successfully defended it twice since then, last fighting in February. Lee was an Ireland Olympian, but now lives in Detroit, Michigan where he trains with Emanuel Stewart. Lee has won thirteen straight bouts (eight by stoppage) since he was TKO'd by Brian Vera in 2008 (including a rematch with Vera). This was Lee's first attempt at a professional title.

Though Lee came into the bout with a one or two inch height and reach advantage, Chavez probably out-weighed him significantly, coming in closer to the super middleweight or light heavyweight limit. Despite the disparity Lee did well in the first two rounds. He certainly controlled the action in the first with his southpaw jab. By the third Chavez begun to dig to the body with his father’s signature hooks, coming straight through Lee’s punches. In fact, the total punches for the evening showed Lee slightly outpunching Chavez, landing 121 of 420 to Chavez’s 118 of 252. However, Chavez all but abandoned the jab throwing mostly power punches in the form of hooks to the body and head.

Towards the end of the fourth round both men traded left uppercuts, but Chavez’s punch caused Lee to stagger forward a little and Chavez followed up with two solid rights and left hook. The partisan crowd at El Paso went crazy. Chavez fed into the crowd in the fifth, coming out smiling, cocky and supremely confident. Lee fared better in the sixth, though Chavez still controlled the action with his body work.

In the seventh round Chavez continued to back Lee up, though Lee kept up a descent punch output. HBO’s ringside announcers began to discuss Chavez’s weight advantage. Jim Lampley asked Larry Merchant, “Larry, could he have been this kind of fighter in the era when they weighed in on the day of the fight?” To which Merchant responded, “Well, if he wanted to fight a light heavyweight,” eliciting genuine laughter from Roy Jones, Jr.

A moment later Chavez backed Lee into a corner, as he had been doing the past few rounds, despite Stewart imploring Lee to keep the action in the center of the ring. Chavez peppered him with hard hooks to the body and head. As Lee tried to throw a right hook, Chavez was still in the process of throwing a right hook of his own which connected and hurt Lee. Chavez followed up with a few more haymakers on a relatively defenseless Lee, and Referee Laurence Cole leaped in to stop the action with about forty seconds remaining. Lee said to Merchant after the fight, “My punches had no effect on him. I couldn’t hold him off… He’s a big middleweight.”

Article posted on 17.06.2012

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