WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. recovered from a slow start he blamed on leg cramps and stopped Andy Lee at 2:21 of the seventh round Saturday night to retain his belt at the Sun Bowl in El Paso. Chavez (46-0-1, 32 KOs) began tentatively, not even throwing his first punch until 75 seconds had elapsed in the first round, and was initially outboxed by Lee (28-2), a much taller challenger than Chavez had previously faced. But as the next two rounds passed, the Mexican champion began to stalk Lee, blasting him with right-cross counterpunches.
''I couldn't hold him off,'' Lee said. ''He was too big and too strong. My punches had no effect on him. He just walked through them. A lot of the punches I threw would've hurt a lot of people, but he just walked through them. He's a big middleweight. No excuses. He’s a good fighter.”
Chavez is now lined up to face Sergio Martinez on September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Lee feels Martinez will in for a rough night.
"Just because of the size difference. [Chavez] has got a big heart and a good chin. He's a good champion," Lee said