Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. proved to be a real contender last Saturday night in El Paso, Texas as he knocked out rugged challenger Andy Lee in the 7th round of their scheduled 12 round championship fight. With this win Chavez not only quites his detractors, he also moves in line to a serious challenge of Sergio Martinez’ claim as the best in the division. Lou DiBella has at least a verbal agreement with Julio’s team for a September 15th battle in Las Vegas which would put an end to endless battles outside the ring instigated by Martinez and his people. Until today this was largely viewed as a mismatch given the fact the Sergio is one of the best fighters not only in his division but in all of boxing, while Chavez Jr has mostly been considered an average fighter with a big last name.
Chavez has been able to up his technique and prove it in the ring with the tutelage of master trainer Freddie Roach, better known as the man behind Manny Pacquiao. With Roach, Chavez has become a better all around fighter and we can see it in his performances against better and better opposition. Many in the media picked Andy Lee to upset the young fighter from México, arguing that his extensive amateur background and better overall skill set would prove to be too much for Jr. As we learned throughout the encounter, Chavez used his superior strength and ring generalship to down his prey into submission. Julio may not be his dad but he does appear to have inherited some of his best weapons, mainly the left hook to the body. He throws it as perfectly as his dad and seems to inflict as much damage. Lee learned this the hardway as he saw his effectiveness wear down as the fight progressed. Lee started out fast but let some key punches enter his guard and to his body.
These punches were the ones that actually finished him as he found himself tiring and weary after just 7 rounds of action. Chavez is a big middleweight and looked ripped. It was by far his best performance as he was facing a solid contender. Suddenly there is more interest in him and the possibilities that lure ahead. He should be a live underdog going to the Martinez fight (if that ever materializes). As of now he should be favored against many in the top 10 at the middleweight division. His size and power make him a tough challenge against any man around the weight and shouldn’t be considered an overhyped product anymore. Ideas of Chavez Jr. and Canelo Alvarez fighting any time soon are starting to sound a little bit ridiculous as Julio is bigger and stronger and would prove to be a potential mismatch size wise.