Boxing


Chavez, Jr too big, too strong, too tough for Lee

By Paul Strauss: Momentarily, there was hope. The first couple of rounds might have fooled a few Andy Lee fans, making them think there was a chance. There really wasn't. Everything was in favor of Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. First, the bloodline, then the location (El Paso, TX), then his size, his power, to go along with his better combinations, body punching, and so on. Andy Lee had a chance on paper. That's about it.

A sad fact is Lee is too easy to hit. He consistently fails to get his hands back high enough to provide protection, and since he doesn't move his head much, it usually means he catches a lot of shots. Unfortunately, he's not fleet of foot either.

His hall of fame trainer Emanuel Steward pleaded with Andy to keep the fight in the center of the unusually small ring (another point in Chavez' favor). He kept reminding Andy that he didn't have to fight with this guy, but Andy couldn't do it for a number of reasons. First, his pity-pat jab did nothing to deter Chavez' forward progress. Andy also was not accurate with his shots. He managed to get through a few straight lefts that were half way decent, but when under pressure, he started to loop his long shots, and fall short with his uppercuts.

Another shortcoming of Andy's was his failure to answer Chavez' combinations. There were more and more unanswered punches as the fight progressed. In the post-fight interview, Andy told Larry Merchant that he found out Chavez was just too big and strong for him. Andy explained that Chavez “….walked right through my shots…”, so he was unable to keep Chavez off of him.

As a result, Chavez steadily kept building on his attack, mixing in hard body shots with his good hooks to the head. He consistently got in his left hook over the low right hand of Andy. Chavez was successful in pressing Andy back against the ropes, and then he would pulverize him with a mixture of hard shots, both to the head and body.

By the fith round, Andy face was getting marked up. In the corner, Chavez complained about a leg cramp, but it didn't slow him down enough for Andy to realize any kind of advantage. In first couple of rounds, it appeared Andy was going to be fighting smart. He would pull Chavez' lowered head down, or tie him up, or step around him. But, in the later rounds, he tired and just didn't have the juice to continue with the tactics needed to frustrate Chavez. Consequently, Chavez continued to gain confidence.

Chavez started to rip off more and more combinations, ripping punching to both the body and head. Andy was starting to fold up, failing to answer with anything of note. By the fifth, six and seventh, Andy's punches were mostly arm punches, or worse yet, pity-pat shots, which resulted in more countering opportunities for Chavez.

In the seventh round, Chavez landed a mixture of about five punches to the body and top of Andy's head. Then a big right hand got through, flush to the middle of Andy's face. As soon as it landed you knew the fight was over. But, before Referee Laurence Cole stepped in to stop things, Chavez landed another eight or ten shots. Cole then jumped in at 2:21 of the seventh to signify a TKO victory for Chavez.

Now the talk is for a matchup between Chavez and Sergio Martinez. After witnessing what Chavez was able to do against a bigger middleweight, some (including Andy) think Chavez will be too big for Martinez, who keeps getting described as a small middleweight. However, Martinez makes Andy Lee look like he's standing still, and chances are he will do the same to Chavez.

Martinez is extremely fast, both with his hands and feet. He is a very smart fighter, and understands styles and weaknesses, and can take advantage of patterns and mistakes. Another valuable weapon is the accuracy of his punches, and finally give him a Grade A for a chin. Chavez might roll into the ring at about 180 lbs on fight night, but that won't be as important as it was against someone like Marco Rubio. Sergio managed to do pretty well against big tall guys like Williams and Pavlik. It will be interesting to see where the fight will be held, who the referee and judges will be, etc. When Freddy's working Chavez' corner, he will be advising him to be more active, to create more pressure, but what he will be thinking is "You can't handle his speed son"!

Article posted on 17.06.2012



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