By Jake Donovan
The phrase ‘I do my talking in the ring’ is often used by the sport’s proudest warriors, who would rather just focus on the task at hand rather than get caught up in a war of words.
Of course, some talking is required in order to get the fight that you want. So while Marco Antonio Rubio is always down for any challenge, he’s also well aware that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
A months-long campaign on the heels of his upset knockout win over David Lemieux last year has finally come full circle. His first fight in 2012 will mark the year’s first truly big show, as Rubio squares off against another unbeaten middleweight in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in San Antonio next month.
HBO will televise the title clash between different generations of Mexican fighters – Chavez Jr. the son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr who finds his way to the front of the line quicker than others, and Rubio the hard-luck veteran for whom nothing comes easy.
However, it was a bit of role reversal during Tuesday’s press conference at The Alamodome, where next month’s fight takes place. It was Chavez who came in with a chip on his shoulder, remembering everything that his opponent had to say about him – including his stated belief that such a fight would never take place.
“Rubio has said in the past that I will never face him, but I am here now,” Chavez Jr. told the media on hand, while Rubio looked on in the background.
For his turn at the podium, Rubio didn’t have much at all to say. He and his team did enough talking in efforts to keep his name in headlines for the past several years. Title fight knockout losses to Kelly Pavlik and Kofi Jantuah have overshadowed an otherwise respectable career, but the 31-year old was able to turn heads with his upset of Lemieux on the road in Canada last April.
The feat lent legitimacy to a win streak that is now 10 fights deep since losing to Pavlik in Feb. ’09. Rubio (53-5-1, 46KO) fought five times in 2011, all ending in knockout. The win over Lemieux put him in line for a title shot, but was forced to wait out typical alphabet politics.
It’s still unclear whether or not the fight with Chavez Jr. will be sanctioned, as there still remains lingering issues with the sanctioning body whose belt would otherwise be at stake.
Regardless of what comes of that mess, the only thing Rubio is worried about for the next month is the fight itself.
“I don’t want to talk too much,” Rubio stated at the mic, decked out in slacks, dress shirt and a black blazer, looking and sounding like a professional. “I’m going to fix all of my (past) errors and I’m going to demonstrate in the ring.”
The bout will mark Rubio’s first trip back to Texas in nearly six years, and just his fourth fight overall in the Lone Star State. Included among the tally is his lone other appearance in San Antonio, a March ’05 narrow points win over former title challenger J.C. Candelo.
He has since won 24 of his last 27, with all but three of those wins coming inside the distance. While Rubio has previously stated that he has every intention of knocking out Chavez, he remains conscious of those coming out to support him on fight night.
“I just want to give a great fight here in San Antonio,” Rubio humbly closed.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected] .