Chavez Jr. likely to be close to 180lbs tonight against Lee
By Dan Ambrose: If you’ve seen video of how WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (45-0-1, 31 KO’s) this week you’ll notice that he’s look zombie-like because of his struggle to make the 160 pound weigh-in limit. Chavez Jr. did make it with one pound to spare on Friday, but he looked badly weight-drained, with dark circles under both eyes, pale skin, and sickly.
It’s pretty clear that Chavez Jr. is really having to drain himself to make the 160 pound weight class. Tonight, he’ll be facing Andy Lee (28-1, 20 KO’s) at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Lee looks like he had no problems whatsoever making weight for the fight. Indeed, he looked like he lost little more than few pounds in getting to the 160 pound limit. For his part, Chavez Jr. will likely be weighing at or near 180 pounds tonight.
He’s weighed that much consistently for his last four fights and it’s not going to change tonight. Coming into the fight at 180 against a slender 165 pound Lee will give Chavez Jr. an advantage. The weight advantage has been Chavez Jr’s ace in the hole in his last few fights, because being that much bigger than his opponents is like putting a cruiserweight in with a middleweight. It’s incredible that Chavez Jr. can actually melt down to make the weight class, because there are few boxers that can take off 20 pounds of water weight to make weight and then put it back on without being weakened by the ordeal. Whatever the case, you can expect Chavez Jr. to be a big 180 pounds and that could help him win this fight if he’s able to corner Lee.
Chavez Jr. isn’t a big puncher, so he’s going to have to be able to trap Lee to work him over. In his last four fights, Chavez Jr. has fought slow, plodding fighters with poor foot work. This has enabled Chavez Jr. to be the bigger fighter and also the quicker fighter on his feet. However, tonight he’s going to be facing a much more nimble Lee, who moves around the ring without laboring like many of Chavez Jr’s recent opponents.
Chavez Jr. won’t be able to use movement to escape Lee if he goes after him. At the same time, Chavez Jr. could have problems trapping Lee along the ropes if he decides he wants to bull him up against the ropes to try and work on him in close like Chavez Jr. did against Marco Antonio Rubio in his last fight in February.