The prizefight was briefly cancelled on April 26 after Chávez, Jr.’s girlfriend, Frida Muñoz, was linked to fugitive Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera (a.k.a. El Chapo) and law enforcement officials received intelligence that captains for two warring cartels planned on attending the fistfight.
Following some political wrangling, the bout, set to occur just across the border from one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico, Ciudad Juarez, was revived.
The 26-year-old Chavez (45-0-1-1, 31 KOs), whose nickname is “The Legend Goes On” because he is the son of iconic prizefighter Julio Caesar Chavez, will be will be making the third defense of his crown when he throws fists with the 28-year-old Lee (28-1, 20 KOs).
Lee, a tough southpaw, has triumphed in 13 consecutive scraps.
Roger “Pit” Perron is a venerable boxing trainer from Brockton (Mass.) who now works with Mike and Rich Cappiello at their gym, Cappiello Brothers Boxing and Training.
“Chavez has a great record,” Perron, 75, who worked in the 1980s with International Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler at the Petronelli Brothers Gym. “But, he doesn’t impress me that much.”
Perron eventually softened his stance against Chavez and lauded the virtues of the man voted Trainer of the Year on four occasions by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).
“Any fighter Freddie Roach pays attention to has to be good. So, who knows what he’ll (Chavez) become with time.”
Roach, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Sunday afternoon in Canastota, N.Y., is confident Chavez is prepared to battle in the squared circle.
“This is going to be a great fight. We’ve had a great training camp. Julio is 100 percent ready to fight,” said Roach, who made history with his two brothers when all three of them fought on the same card at the Boston Garden in June 1982. “We’re going to be the best we can be.”
Chavez, Jr. is a good, albeit not great, boxer.
Nevertheless, expect Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. to stop Andy Lee within 11 rounds this weekend as, for now, “The Legend Goes On.”by