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Andy Lee: Chavez Jr. is too big for Rubio

Andy Lee Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Marco Antonio RubioBy Dan Ambrose: Middleweight contender Andy Lee says that he was briefly approached to take the fight with WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (44-0-1, 31 KO’s) for this Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas, but Chavez’s management decided instead to face the shorter 5’10” Marco Antonio Rubio (53-5-1, 46 KO’s) instead.

Lee thinks that Chavez Jr. will have too much size for Rubio in this fight and that will be the ultimate difference.

Lee told’s On The Ropes Boxing Radio Program “The only thing he [Rubio] has going against him is his size. He’s naturally a smaller guy. Chavez comes to the ring, blows up a lot after the weigh-in, and comes to the ring maybe near 175 to 180. So I think Chavez probably will be a little bit too physically strong for him…I would favor Chavez.”

In fact, Chavez Jr. has been coming into his fights at 180lbs or over in his last two bouts and he’s really getting too big for the division. It’s a credit to Chavez’s trainer Freddie Roach and strength trainer Alex Ariza that they’re able to come up with a good strategy to get him to lose the water weight before the fight because it’s pretty rare for a fighter to lose that kind of water weight over and over again over an extended period of time.

I know guys that can take off 10 to 15 pounds of water to squeeze into a weight, but when you’re taking 20 pounds of water weight, that’s a shocking number. I frankly don’t know how they’re able to do this without Chavez Jr. being weakened in the process but it’s probably something that Chavez Jr. won’t be able to do for too much longer. At 25, he’s still very young and his body can probably still handle the stress of losing water weight rapidly, but in two or three years, I think it’s going to be nearly impossible. I can’t see Chavez Jr. being able to make the 160 pound middleweight weight limit in two years. Of course, by then Chavez Jr. and his promoter Bob Arum will have already made huge money in Chavez Jr. being matched against much smaller fighters [in fight weight].

Rubio, 5’10”, will be lucky if he can come in at 165lbs on Saturday night. He’s slender and has a small frame but packs a big punch. However, getting hit by someone that outweighs you by as much as 20 pounds like Chavez Jr. could be a big problem for him. All that weight that Chavez Jr. will have behind his shots could trouble Rubio, and at the same time, Rubio’s shots might not have much effect on Chavez because of his size. Chavez Jr. has sparred with some big fighters and facing a skinny 5’10” 160 pound Rubio won’t be a problem. At the end of the day, the fact that Arum was okay with Chavez Jr. fighting Rubio tells you that they’ve scouted Rubio well and know pretty well that he stands no chance of beating Chavez Jr.

You can’t really disagree with that, because Rubio looked overwhelmed by the power from David Lemieux and Kelly Pavlik in the past. He was easily beaten by Pavlik in 2009, and was on his way to a one-sided loss against Lemieux last April when Lemieux punched himself out in the 6th and was taken out by Rubio in the 7th. But before then, it was a completely one-sided fight with Rubio taking terrible punishment.

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