Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Chavez Jr., Lee Respectful Ahead of Saturday’s Showdown

By Jake Donovan

The hardest fought battle leading up to Saturday’s middleweight showdown between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee was keeping the fight in its present location. Once it was decided that the card will take place at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, the rest was smooth sailing.

That very vibe was felt during Thursday’s final press conference, a light-hearted affair that featured mutual respect between camps and the mother of all organ grinders, who drew high praise from the HBO brass.

“If this fight is half as good as her playing, then we’re in for a great Saturday night,” quipped Peter Nelson, Director of Sports Programming at HBO.

Chavez Jr. and Lee immediately shook hands and politely posed for a stare down photo upon arriving to the press conference in downtown El Paso. From there, it was nothing but pleasantries offered from all participants and appreciation for the battle fought in keeping the show in town.

“It was in the summer of 2008 when it came to us that the violence in Juarez, Mexico had heightened,”explained Bill Blaziek, General Manager of El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Today those misconceptions and misinformation make us angry. That’s what happened eight weeks again when the show was summarily canceled due to the preface of violence in Mexico.

Thanks to a heck of a push from Blaziek and the fine folks of El Paso, the show will now go on as planned.

“I’m a little intimidated standing between two world class athletes and champions in their own right,” commented Blaziek while on stage in between the main event participants. “But El Paso is filled with fighters are well. To say we’re America’s safest city is a bit rhetorical. It’s not that we won a contest, but it’s how we live our lives.”

The assurance of proper safety precautions went a long way towards keeping the fight on the UTEP college campus. The City of El Paso has strongly rallied around the event, with 20,000 tickets already sold and the Visitor’s Bureau continuing to promote the event to its community.

All told, the turn of events proved to be a huge sigh of relief for both fighters. All they had to do… was train for the fight.

“I feel at home here in El Paso. All of the people here have been very nice to me,” commented Chavez Jr. (45-0-1, 31KO), who makes the third defense of his middleweight belt. “The thing I’m here to do is to pay back the people of El Paso for their love, by fighting hard and leaving here with my title.”

Naturally, Lee feels the same way about his own chances in what serves as his first-ever title shot.

“I’m glad the fight is here after all of the controversy,” noted Lee (28-1, 20KO). “This will be a successful event. We’ve left no stone unturned. We’ve worked very hard and I’m in tremendous shape. HBO has given me a tremendous opportunity and I plan to take full advantage of it. I’m here and I’m ready to win.”

Both fighters have endured their share of criticism in recent years for being sold as top middleweights despite lacking a signature win. Rather than allow people to believe the fighters seek to nibble around the edges, they agree to face one another head on while in the prime of their respective careers.

“This is what boxing is all about, having even fights between hungry fighters,” notes Chavez, who makes his fourth straight appearance on HBO and third straight in Texas. “I promise to give a war, and a war that I will win. I’ve been ready since 23 days ago to fight and I’m ready to fight right now.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Mayweather on Canelo-GGG: May, September Are My Dates Video: Floyd Mayweather, Anthony Joshua Come Together in UK Michael Walsh Eyes Comeback, Set To Return On June 2 Ian Tims vs. Luke Watkins For Vacant Irish Belt, June 10 In Belfast Joshua: Mayweather-McGregor is Bigger With Me on Undercard Adrien Broner To Spend Three Days in Jail For Contempt Charge Groves Admits a Loss To Chudinov Could Be End of His Career Duva: Barrera Was Right on Beterbiev, Smith Deal Easy To Make Agitated Arum: HBO, Showtime Don’t Own the Boxing Business! Mayweather Confident He Would School Golovkin in 'Easy' Fight Big Changes at 108: BoxingScene Ratings Update Frankie Gavin To Return, June 3 In Scotland Brook vs. Spence: Lawrence Okolie To Face Russell Henshaw Video: Anthony Joshua Talks Klitschko, Mayweather, Future, More Brook: After Beating Spence, I Want Thurman Unification Next! Coldwell Hopes Lewis Taylor Shocks Jamie Cox on Brook-Spence Amir Khan Not Happy With WBC's Decision, May Target Peterson Why Do Boxing Robberies Continue To Happen? Video: Shakur Stevenson Talks About Second Pro Fight, Future Deontay Wilder Hopes Joseph Parker Fight Can Come Together Mayweather Expects Davis To Be a Star, Spence To Beat Brook Abel Sanchez: I'd Hate To See Mayweather Get '50' With McGregor Video: Ray Beltran Talks Big Win, Getting His Green Card Crawford: Pacquiao is The Only Fight We're Really Looking For BJ Flores Ready To Step in For Shannon Briggs and Face Oquendo Mayweather: No Rush To Make Davis-Lomachenko Unification Video: Bob Arum, Terence Crawford Post-Fight Interview McGregor Tells Mayweather To Stop Talking and Sign Contract Crawford Lands 59% of Power on Diaz - CompuBox Punch Stats Arum Admits Crawford-Thurman Fight Nowhere Near Happening Euro News: Braehmer Return, Madson, Hammer, Lock, More Report: Briggs Fails PED Test; Title Fight Vs. Oquendo in Doubt Arum Suggests Crawford’s Next Fight Won’t Be Televised by HBO Photos: Terence Crawford Beats Down Felix Diaz For TKO Win Frank Warren: Walsh Will Recover, Wasn't as Bad as Khan's KO Naoya Inoue Blasts Rodriguez, Melindo Drills Yaegashi in One Photos: Gary Russell Jr. Breaks Down, Stops Oscar Escandon Mayweather: If I Fight Again, 90% Chance It's With McGregor Photos: Andre Dirrell Wins By DQ After Post-Bell Knockout Photos: Gervonta Davis Blasts Out Liam Walsh in Three Rounds
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement