By Jake Donovan
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. continues to cruise along in his young career. The latest achievement came Saturday evening in El Paso, where the 26-year old overcame a slow to start to score a 7th round stoppage on Andy Lee live on HBO.
The bout marked the third defense of the middleweight belt he acquired with a majority decision win over Sebastian Zbik last June. His entire middleweight reign (including the aforementioned title winning effort) has aired live on HBO, to the tune of notable box office ratings.
With each win comes a little more respect – or at least a little less criticism – as Chavez Jr. has grown into a top middleweight.
Of course, it hasn’t always been that way. Most of his career to date was viewed of that as a sideshow act and that he will never pan out as a pro.
Chavez Jr. is more than happy to prove his detractors wrong, though at one point had to ask himself whether or there was any truth to those whispers.
“Everyone was starting to criticize me so much that I began to believe I really was a bad fighter,” Chavez Jr (46-0-1, 32KO) joked to the media on hand for the post-fight press conference.
While unfair comparisons remain inevitable, Chavez Jr. is proud to wear the family name both in and out of the ring. In the ring, he continues to carry the same traits and habits as his father, to whom every one of his fights are dedicated.
“The talent, the heart and the balls – I get everything from my father. I feel very happy. This is a dream, thank you for making my dream come true.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox