Top Rank Looking to Keep Chavez Jr Fight in El Paso
It’s not often that a pre-fight press conference turns into a showcase for an announcement that a fight won’t be happening as planned (although Top Rank is getting more familiar with this, after the Brandon Rios-Yuriorkis Gamboa fiasco earlier this year). That’s what took place in El Paso recently for the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Andy Lee fight. Planned for Sun Bowl Stadium at UTEP, the University of Texas El Paso, the fight will not be basically banned from taking place there due to security concerns about border violence breaching the city. In its place, Top Rank officials are still looking to try to hold the fight in El Paso at another site or location.
Of course, not everyone agrees with that decision. First and foremost is Top Rank, who don’t believe the reason for the cancellation. In addition, in an article at Chron.com, senator Jose Rodriguez had this to say:
“I strongly oppose the decision by the UT System to cancel this fight, especially without consulting local officials regarding any potential threat. This is just one more example of what happens when our state leaders disregard the facts by falsely calling border communities ‘war zones’ without any evidence to support their claims.”
“Decisions such as these hurt our local economy and tarnish the image of border communities. El Paso is not only one of the safest communities in Texas, it is one of the safest in the nation.
“There have been several events such as this in El Paso — including a boxing match at UTEP last weekend — with no incidents. The decision to cancel this fight due to the fears of border violence only reinforces to the negative perception of El Paso and will have a lasting impact on the community for years to come.
“If decisions are going to be made without solid evidence of actual threats of violence at events such as this, then border communities from El Paso to Brownsville will be irreparably harmed.”
As of now, it’s unclear what the next step will be, and where Chavez Jr. vs. Lee will take place. From a boxing fan’s perspective, as long as this fight happens soon, and it leads to the winner facing Sergio Martinez in the fall, then I’ll be happy. Check back in with us later for more news updates on this developing story.