Andy Lee V Cesar Chavez Jr match-up buzz renewed
Middleweight Andy Lee (27-1, 19 KOs) is being strongly linked to fight WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (45-0-1, 31 KOs). The Limerick native, who plans to fight in Detroit on March 10, was previously associated to a fight with Felix Sturm in April, but Sebastian Zbik got that assignment.
“There were talks and it was down to me and Zbik,” Lee told the Irish Voice on Sunday.
“I always felt that he (Sturm) wanted to fight Zbik as he is not a big puncher and he is German-based, so it was an easier fight to make.”
However, it seems as that door closes a new one may open. Lee’s trainer, Emanuel Steward called the Chavez Jr./Marco Antonio Rubio fight for HBO on Saturday night. Chavez, Jr. won the fight by unanimous decision and now his promoter, Top Rank, is touting Lee as their fighter’s next foe.
“Emanuel spoke to Bob Arum (CEO of Top Rank) after the fight and said that they are very interested,” confirmed Lee.
The 27-year-old went on to say that the same fight has been pitched to HBO before, but Top Rank declined at the time and Rubio got the shot.
It would seem that Top Rank now feels that Chavez Jr. is ready to take on the Irishman and HBO are reportedly interested in this match-up.
"Arum has already been in touch with @HBOboxing to say he'd like to next make Chavez-@AndyLeeBoxing. HBO loves it. Helluva fight," tweeted ESPN's Dan Rafael after the Rubio fight on Saturday night.
Lee has always said he wants to challenge for a world title in 2012 and would relish an opportunity to fight Chavez, Jr.
“I think he is improving all the time, he is showing a lot of things,” he said. “I believe I am a better quality fighter, with my height and reach I could hold him off and I could box him.”
Lee knew that he would have had to travel to Germany had the Sturm fight materialized, and though he would love to have a Chavez, Jr. fight in New York, he accepts that he may have to travel to a fight location that would capitalize on Chavez, Jr.’s massive Mexican following.
“Sometimes you are going to have to take a chance,” he said.
Lee was very frustrated to pull out of the undercard on March 17 at Madison Square Garden, but he did so because he felt he was ready for a big fight.
“I have been in line for one world title fight and now I am in line for another one,” he said. “If I get this fight with Chavez then I will look back and say it was the right decision.”
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