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Fightin' Talk

Chavez Jr: I've no problem stepping into the ring against Andy Lee

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr says that Lee and Vanes Martirosyan are the top contenders for a shot at his world middleweight title.

JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR says that he’s happy to grant Andy Lee a shot at his WBC middleweight title, dismissing claims that he’s dodging a fight against the Limerick native because of his southpaw style.

Chavez is expected to return to the ring in the Sun Bowl, Texas on 16 June, but the Mexican is in the market for a challenger after his expected opponent Martin Murray was forced to withdraw due to visa difficulties.

Armenian-born light-middleweight Vanes Martirosyan has made it known that he would be willing to step up in weight to make the fight, and Chavez indicated yesterday that himself and Lee are now the front-runners.

“I would fight either one of them,” Chavez said in a phone call with FightHype’s Ben Thompson.

I’ve sparred with Vanes. I know it will be a difficult fight, but I would like to have that fight. Also I like Andy Lee because he’s left-handed and it would also help for when I fight Sergio Martinez.

The final decision will rest with his promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank, Chavez said, although he hinted that he may pull out of the fight if Arum forces him into signing a contract extension before then.

“Top Rank is talking to the opponents, but I’m okay with whoever they choose for me to fight. I trust Top Rank. They are my promoter.

“They’re very good promoters, but I want to make one thing very clear, I will not be forced to sign extensions to get my fights that are owed to me.”

Lee’s camp said earlier this week that a fight between himself and Chavez had been agreed in principle last February, but Chavez withdrew because he was not comfortable fighting against a southpaw.

Chavez’s comments remove the last remaining obstacles to a title shot, Lee said today.

With Julio now up for the fight, there are no obstacles in the way to make the fight. It is now up to Julio’s promoter Bob Arum and my promoter Lou DiBella to cut a deal and get the fight on for the fans.

I am ready and willing to step through the ropes on June 16 and go to battle with Julio for the WBC middleweight title. Bring it on.

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