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Fighting Talk

Showdown in the Sun Bowl: Lee challenges Chavez Jr to title fight

Limerick’s Andy Lee has called on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr to grant him a shot at the WBC middleweight title on 16 June.

ANDY LEE HAS thrown down a challenge to world middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, calling on the Mexican to reopen negotiations and grant him a shot at the WBC title this summer.

Lee is currently rated as the second-best middleweight by both the WBA and WBO, and fourth-best by the WBC, but has been left in the cold while Martin Murray, Darren Barker and most recently Matthew Macklin have all been granted big billings.

Now the frustrated Limerick native has called on Chavez Jr to sign up for a southern showdown on 16 June in the 50,000-capacity Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

According to Lee’s camp, Chavez’s promoter Bob Arum and HBO television agreed in principle to a fight between the two, only for the Mexican to backtrack for fear of stepping out of his comfort zone by fighting against a southpaw.

Now, Lee says, the time for dodging fights has passed.

“I would relish the opportunity to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for the WBC title on 16 June,” the Kronk star said as he laid down his challenge. “I’m ready and available, let’s make the fight.

It would be a tough fight but I believe I have the skills to beat him and end his reign as champion. The Irish and Mexican people like a good fight, so let’s get it on.


Lee knows that he faces stiff competition for a fight against Chavez, not least from lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez who was heavily linked with the fight even before his 11th-round stoppage of Matthew Macklin.

With 13 straight wins now under his belt since his sole loss against Brian Vera in March 2008, Lee fears nobody and is willing to take his shot wherever it comes, be it against Martinez, IBF champion Daniel Geale or WBA Super champion Felix Sturm.

I have been patiently waiting for my opportunity and now that the dust has settle in the first quarter of 2012, there should be different options emerging for me to challenge for a world title. I strongly feel I deserve my shot. I have worked hard in the last six years and with dedication and perseverance got myself positioned as a legitimate world title contender.

“I now have my sights fixed on fighting not just Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but also other champions such as Sergio Martinez, Daniel Geale or Felix Sturm. I am gunning for all of them. I am looking to square off with any one of those guys in the ring within the next three to six months.

“I am a prize-fighter that is what I do for a living and why I came to America.  I am driven by the ambition to be successful in my career and become world champion. I take that task very seriously; I have dedicated my life to boxing and made a lot of sacrifices.”

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