EL PASO.- This was the night Julio César Chávez Jr. was working for. Against his toughest rival yet, the Sinaloa native got ready, found a way and smashed Irishman Andy Lee at 2 minutes and 21 seconds on the 7th round.
In doing so, he managed to keep his WBC Middleweight belt in front of thousands of box aficionados at the Sun Bowl arena in El Paso, Texas and before millions of viewers all over the world clearing any remaining doubts about his skills.
It wasn't an easy win, though, at least during the first rounds Julio had a taste of the trouble the Olympian (from Athens 2004) could mean. Lee's jabs impacted a slow Julio who hadn't yet found his own rhythm; but the minute he did, he owned the ring, shook off the Irish's longer reach and brought out his best gear to make him yield forcing the referee to stop the fight.
"I really like having this name, I want to do more, (I want to) write my own history, leave my mark" stated Chávez Carrasco after finishing the brawl. "I wanted to study him, feel his strikes; obviously (at first my body) was a bit cold, but I could see he had nothing; I went for the KO and I got it" added the proud World Champion who also sent a message to "Maravilla" Martínez: "I will shut him up with a knockout".
Lee, on the other hand, didn't offer any justification; he called Chávez a great champion and said if Sergio Martínez is his next opponent it is sure to be a really hard fight. "Credit where credit is due, I have no excuses, he is a good fighter, there's a reason why he is the World Champion. If they face each other it will be a tough fight for Martínez" stated Andy who also remarked Junior's strength and endurance.
The match was fought in a great atmosphere at the Sun Bowl, after both fighters arrived on luxurious limousines they went straight to the ring for the exciting battle. Lee immediately took charge getting Julio in trouble, making him back down and getting a small advantage after 3 rounds.
But Julio César, having a great training camp under his belt, showed him what he was made of, listened to Freddie Roach, started pressuring his rival and connected solid punches to the Irishman's soft tissue making him to slowly loose his rhythm.
From the 4th round onwards, the fight belonged to Mexico's star. Chávez connected strong combinations shaking Lee's head and making him drop his guard after pounding his body. Dominating the bout and with a practically defeated contender, Julio went all out finding what he was looking for on the 7th round beating his challenger in such a way that the referee was forced to stop the now uneven match.
With this triumph on his third exposure as Middleweight World Boxing Council Champion, Julio César reached 46-0-1 and 32 KO, while Lee stayed at 28 victories, 20 knockouts and got his second of 2 defeats as a professional boxer.