On The Beak – Admin
Irish Kronk middleweight star, Andy Lee (28-1-0, 20ko) is seeking a world title shot against WBC middleweight world champion, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (45-0-1, 31ko) on June 16 at the Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas. The hungry fighter is presently listed in the top five of three of the four major world sanctioning bodies and following a 13 fight winning streak feels he has paid his dues to challenge for a world title on June 16.
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Chavez Jr v Rubio was a fan-friendly fight. Credit: Stacey Verbeek - Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
In the last six months Lee has seen boxers like Martin Murray, Darren Barker, Matthew Macklin, Peter Manfredo Jr and Marco Antonio Rubio all challenge for world titles and the Irishman now wants his chance. Following Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s successful second title defence of his WBC belt against Marco Antonio Rubio on February 4, Andy Lee was in the frame to fight Chavez Jr in June.
Team Lee, Chavez Jr’s US promoter Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and HBO Boxing all agreed to the fight in principle. Then during February, Team Chavez changed their minds on Lee as an opponent as the reason being was that they were alleged to be reluctant for Chavez Jr to fight Lee because of his southpaw style.
Team Lee is clear they want the fight and think the fight makes good sporting and business sense for all parties. They feel for a world champion with nearly 50 fights not wanting to fight a challenger because of his southpaw style is a pretty lame excuse at this level of the sport.
Lee commented: “I would relish the opportunity to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the WBC title on June 16. 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.”
When Chavez Jr fought Sebastian Zbik for the world title on June 4, 2011, it successfully drew 1.5 million viewers on HBO and, with over 40 million people in the US of Irish descent, a Chavez Jr v Lee title bout has the potential to boost these viewing figures significantly and generate substantial revenue for fighters, promoters and broadcasters.
Lee’s manager and trainer Emanuel Steward commented: “Andy has established himself has an entertaining fighter in America and Europe. I think a fight between Andy and Julio would be a great fight; they are two young fighters burning with ambition and have a track record of being in exciting fights. Andy is the most prominent and visible middleweight contender resident in the United States at this time; it makes good sporting and business sense for HBO and promoters to make the fight between Andy and Julio.”
Team Lee is confident that a deal can be made with Top Rank, Team Chavez and HBO soon if Top Rank want to re-engage in discussions. There are no other opponents out there for Chavez Jr. to fight that have the credentials that Andy Lee brings to the table. Lee commented: “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.”
Emanuel Steward believes his fighter has all the tools to become world champion. Steward commented: “Andy came to the Kronk Gym, Detroit six years ago following a successful amateur career, an U19 World Silver Medalist in 2002 and Athens Olympian in 2004. He has had almost 30 fights as a pro, he is at the top of the world rankings and at the age of 27 he is in the prime of his life. Andy has earned his place to challenge for a world title. He is an exciting fighter who can box, fight in the trenches and can bang with either hand.
“We are primed and ready to fight for a world title when the opportunity arises.”
Lee’s other world championship targets are:
Sergio Martinez – WBC Diamond champion and The Ring magazine world champion
A fight with Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28ko) could prove straight forward to book as both fighters share the same promoter (DiBella Entertainment Inc.). Martinez, from Buenos Aires, Argentina turned 37-years-old on February 21, 2012 and despite the years on the clock, is a phenomenal athlete. The Argentine is a slick and skilful counter-puncher who can punch effectively and has impressively produced four knockout victories in his last four fights against Paul Williams, Serhiy Dzinziruk, Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin.
Lee believes his youth, physical size, aggressive technical boxing style and power can beat Martinez.
Daniel Geale – IBF world champion
Daniel Geale (27-1-0, 15ko) became IBF Champion on May 7, 2011 with a split points decision win over Germany’s Sebastian Sylvester and since then has successful defended his title twice, most recently on March 7 against Osumanu Adama. Geale from New South Wales, Australia is a very skilful technical boxer, with a good work ethic, but limited power. Geale’s handlers recently declared their goal of taking Geale to America this year. Gary Shaw, Geale’s US promoter, could make a match with Lee and for the fight to be broadcast by HBO Boxing or Showtime.
Lee fancies his chances in a fight against the 31-year-old Geale and feels he has the strength, power and ring craft to beat him.
Felix Sturm – ‘Super’ WBA world champion
The 33-year-old German; Felix Sturm (36-2-2, 15ko) has had 11 successful title defences of his WBA belt since winning it on April 28, 2007 against Spain’s Javier Castillejo. Sturm has a great jab, good defence and is a strategic thinking fighter who knows how to devise a plan to win a fight.
Not a power puncher, he is an experienced fighter and now promotes himself to sell-out venues in Germany. With some recent lacklustre defences, time is running out for Sturm and it is only a matter of time before he gets beaten. Sturm is a faded fighter, covering up in most of the rounds and fighting only in spurts of action. Sturm’s next fight will be on April 13, 2012 against Sebastian Zbik.
Lee is no stranger to Germany having fought there on the Klitschko Shows several times and would be up for traveling to Germany to fight Sturm or for the German to go to Ireland or America for the fight.
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