ANDY LEE BELIEVES the time is right to be crowned WBC champion.
The Limerick native, who is based in Detroit, takes on the current title holder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in the intimidating environment of El Paso, Texas, on Sunday with an estimated 40,000 Mexicans believed to be attending.
However, Lee, who turned 28 yesterday, has fought the majority of his 29 fights outside Ireland and, as well as claiming that he is in the best shape of his life, says the partisan atmosphere won’t faze him.
“I relish this opportunity to fight for and win the WBC middleweight title,” Lee said. “I have never been more ready to win the title. I am totally focussed on the fight and I’m ready to care of business come fight night.
“I am not going to El Paso to make up the numbers on the card; believe me this is the pinnacle of a lifetime’s work and the opportunity is not going to pass me by. I’m going to win the title.
“Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has been proud champion and has kept himself busy in the last 12 months since winning the title, but I will be too strong and have too much ring craft for him.
I will be the fighter who will leaving town as the new champion, this is my date with destiny.”
Lee’s manager and trainer, the legendary Emanuel Steward put him through a gruelling 10-week training camp in Detroit’s Kronk Gym, during which he has sparred with Brian Vera, Mike Jimenez and Don George.
And Steward says preparations have gone according to plan.
“Preparations for the fight could not have been any better; Andy is a very disciplined and determined fighter and he is physically and mentally prepared for the biggest fight of his career to date.”
“We have prepared for every possible scenario in the fight against a young, strong and resolute undefeated champion. However Chavez Jr. has never fought a fighter like Andy Lee and the champion is going to realise that on fight night.
At the age of 28, Andy is in the prime of his life, he is a big middleweight, a southpaw, has vast experience as an amateur and professional, can box on the outside and fight at close quarters and has the power to take a fighter out with either hand.
“Andy’s time has arrived, he has trained his entire life for this moment and he is now ready to become the new WBC middleweight champion. Andy is a fighter on a mission and with the frame of mind he has had in the gym during camp I believe he can knock Chavez Jr. out.”