El Paso showdown a huge opportunity for Lee
BOXING WBC WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE:LIMERICK’S ANDY Lee faces the toughest fight of his professional boxing career in El Paso, Texas in the early hours of tomorrow morning. The former Irish Olympian faces WBC World Middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr who is making the third defence of his title in the Sun Bowl Stadium.
The 26-year-old Chavez is unbeaten in 47 fights and has made two successful defences of his title so far. Lee, though, has been based for some years in Detroit, USA, where he is trained by the legendary Emmanuel Steward at the famed Kronk Gym.
With only one loss on his 29-fight record to Brian Vera, which he avenged last year, Lee is unbeaten in a 13-fight run that includes inflicting the first loss in Scottish rival Craig McEwan’s career. With a combined record of 73-1-1 (51 KOs), a winning percentage of 97 per cent and a victory by knockout ratio of 70per cent it’s set to be an explosive fight and one that is pivotal to the Irishman’s future.
Chavez began his career as a fighter who beat ‘tomato cans’ but when he was taken over by famed trainer Freddie Roach, who for a while coached former World Champion Bernard Dunne, the improvement was swift and stunning.
The winner of Chavez-Lee will face Sergio Martinez to clear up the WBC middleweight picture. Lee’s camp believes it will be the Irishmans moment in the sun. He is two inches taller than Chavez, fights left-handed, and is confident he has the power to knock Chavez out.
“We have prepared for every possible scenario in the fight against a young, strong and resolute undefeated champion,” said Steward. “However Chavez Jr has never fought a fighter like Andy Lee and the champion is going to realise that on fight night.
“At the age of 28, Andy is in the prime of his life. He is a big middleweight, a southpaw, has vast experience, can box on the outside and fight at close quarters and has the power to take a fighter out with either hand.”