Undefeated World Middleweight Champion and the Son of the Legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. returns to the boxing metropolis of El Paso, Texas for the first time in nearly six years, headlining “Viva Chávez!” on Saturday, June 16, at Sun Bowl Stadium. Chávez Jr., who will be making the third defense of the title he won last year, against No. 2-world-rated contender Andy Lee, marks the first world championship fight to be held in Sun Bowl Stadium since June 13, 1998 when Oscar De La Hoya knocked out Patrick Charpentier in the second round to retain his welterweight crown.
The Chávez Jr. vs. Lee world championship rumble will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
These two warriors boast a combined record of 73-1-1 (51 KOs) – a winning percentage of 97% and a victory by knockout ratio of 70%.
“I am facing a tough, difficult opponent in Andy Lee. This will be the toughest fight of my career,” said Chávez, Jr.
“I am honored to have this opportunity. I have been waiting my whole life for this opportunity. It is going to be a great show,” said Lee. “I’d like to thank Emanuel Steward, Perry Mandera, my entire management team along with Lou DiBella and DiBella Entertainment for everything they have done to make this a reality. I also would like to extend a very special thank you to Top Rank and the Chávez Family and Freddie Roach. The Boxing World is going to see a World Class Fight!”
“This fight between Julio César Chávez Jr and Andy Lee is a remarkable one – two young, handsome warriors, from different parts of the world,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Chávez Jr is from Mexico, Lee is from Ireland and each will be doing his best to make his country proud.”
“I am thrilled that Andy Lee is getting his long-deserved shot at a middleweight championship,” said Lou DiBella, Lee’s promoter. “Julio César Chávez Jr. deserves credit for taking on the biggest challenge of his career. On June 16th a new champion will be crowned in El Paso, Texas.”
“Julio César Chávez Jr. vs. Andy Lee is a terrific matchup that will intrigue fight fans everywhere,” said Kery Davis, senior vice president of programming, HBO Sports. “With the Sun Bowl in El Paso as the backdrop this will be a very compelling and significant World Championship Boxing telecast.”
Chávez Jr. (45-0-1, 31 KOs), of Culiacan, México, making his first appearance in El Paso since August 19, 2006 when he knocked out Jermaine White in the fourth round of their welterweight bout, is the son of Mexico’s greatest fighter Julio César Chávez. Chávez, 26, took up the “family business” in 2003, winning a four-round decision in his professional debut.
Eight years later, the reigning World Middleweight Champion and superior gate attraction is poised to make his own mark in the boxing world. He took a major step toward that goal by enlisting legendary trainer Freddie Roach to take him to the next level. Their first fight together was a gigantic success, a dominant 12-round unanimous decision victory over top-10 contender John Duddy (29-1, 18 KOs) in June 2010 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
After his January 29, 2011 unanimous decision win over Billy Lyell, Chávez Jr. became the second family member to win a world title, dethroning undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik via a majority decision. That June 4, 2011 slugfest took place at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles just a few blocks north of the Olympic Auditorium where the legendary Julio César Chávez won his first world title.
Chávez Jr. successfully defended his title on November 19, 2011 with a fifth-round knockout of Top-Five contender Peter Manfredo, Jr. at Reliant Arena in Houston, followed by a hard-fought unanimous decision on February 4 over No. 1 contender Marco Antonio Rubio at the Alamodome.
Lee (28-1, 20 KOs), who at 6’2, is one inch taller than Chávez, Jr., was born in London but is Irish of heritage. Ireland’s sole boxing representative in the 2004 Olympics, Lee made his professional debut in 2006, winning a six-round decision over Anthony Cannon. Trained at the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit by Hall of Fame inductee Emanuel Steward, who has referred to Lee as “my left-handed Tommy Hearns,” Lee possesses exceptional skills, speed and movement, complemented by good punching power and experience against good opposition.
He enters this fight riding a four-year, 13-bout winning streak with eight of those victories coming inside the distance, including a win over Bryan Vera last October to avenge the only loss on his professional ledger. He enters this fight as a consensus Top Three world-rated contender, ranked No. 2 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 3 by the WBC.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, DiBella Entertainment, AT&T and Tecate, tickets to the Chávez Jr. vs. Lee world title tilt go on sale Saturday April 28 at 2 p.m. ET / Noon MT. Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25, plus applicable service charges, can be purchased at the UTEP Ticket Center, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com and by phone at (915) 747-5234.