Chavez Jr still undefeated
Julio César Chávez Jr stopped Andy Lee in the seventh round to retain his WBC middleweight title in El Paso on Saturday night.
Despite suffering from leg cramps almost throughout the fight, the unbeaten Mexican stormed to his 23rd successive victory by beating the Irish southpaw.
Referee Laurence Cole stopped the bout 2 minutes 21 seconds into the seventh round as Chávez pounded away to the head and body of Lee with no punches being thrown in response.
"I would have knocked him out earlier if it wasn't for my legs," Chávez said. "From the first round my legs were bothering me. It was cramps. That's why I was standing up so straight. But I got the victory."
Chávez, 26, improved his record to 46-0, with one drawn with 33rd knockouts. Lee, a 2004 Olympian Lee, fell to 28-2. His four-year, 13-fight win streak was snapped in his first world title fight.
"My punches had no effect on him. He just walked through them," the 28-year-old Lee said. "No excuses. He's a good fighter."
Most of the crowd at Sun Bowl stadium, just across the US border from his homeland, backed Chávez, a ring legend's son who is making his own fame.
"I'm very happy to carry the name and I'm forcing myself to make history in the world of boxing," Chávez said. "Every day I'm doing better."
Chávez and Lee exchanged flurries of hard punches in the fourth round and Chávez stung the Irishman with body blows in the fifth.
"I wanted to see if he had any power. I saw he didn't have anything so I came on," Chávez said. "In the first round maybe I was a little cold. I stuck my face out there but he couldn't hurt me."
Lee tried in vain to make Chávez chase him around the ring but admitted: "It was hard to move him with my shots."
Late in the seventh round, Chávez unleashed a flurry of punches to the head and body that left Lee doubled over with his back against the ropes. The Mexican continued the pounding until Cole stepped between them.
Chávez was making the third defence of his first world title, which he won last June when he beat previously undefeated German Sebastian Zbik by majority decision.
He stopped American Peter Manfredo in the fifth round last November and won by a unanimous decision over Mexico's Marco Antonio Rubio in February.
On the undercard, Miguel Vazquez beat Daniel Attah on points over ten rounds. Vazquez, the IBF lightweight champion, improved his record to 31-3, including 13 knockouts. Attah’s now stands at 26-11-1; 9.
Abie Han remained unbeaten in 17 fights when he won inside the distance for the eleventh time, beating Joe Gomez (18-6-1; 8) in the fourth round.
Casey Ramos, a lightweight with a record of 16-0; 5, stopped Arthur Trevino (7-8-3; 4) in the fifth round.
In a featherweight bout, Robert Marroquin improved to 22-1; 15 when he knocked out Arturo Santiago (7-6-1; 4) in the second round. Santiago was knocked down three times in the first round.