Lem Satterfield

Q&A: Chavez Jr. ready to get rough with Rubio

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RingTV.com conducted a Q&A with THE RING’s No. 5-rated middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in advance of his HBO-televised fight with Marco Antonio Rubio on Saturday at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Tex., a bout that many believe could be the most difficult in the 25-year-old beltholder’s career.

Rubio (53-5-1, 46 knockouts) is after his seventh straight knockout, his 10th stoppage in 11 consecutive victories. The 31-year-old veteran is coming off a fifth-round stoppage of Matt Vanda in December.

Rubio earned five of those stoppages last year alone, including an ESPN2-televised seventh-round knockout of hot 21-year-old prospect David Lemieux, who entered the fight with a mark of 25-0, with 24 knockouts.

Trained by five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, Chavez Jr. (44-0-1, 31 KOs) is coming off fifth-round stoppage of Peter Manfredo Jr last November and a WBC title-winning decision over Sebastian Zbik last June.

Prior to Zbik, Chavez had scored consecutive unanimous decisions over Billy Lyell last January, and John Duddy in June of 2010, the latter, taking place at The Alamodome.

“I think that both have good chins and they’re both tough guys. Rubio’s probably a little bit of a better puncher and I think that he has knockout power in his hands,” said Roach.

“That’s something that we have to be aware of and that’s something that we have to nullify. We have to work on that as part of our strategy and he’s doing quite well with it though.”

Chavez, son of the former three-division champion by the same name, has also expressed interest in mega-bout clashes with junior middleweight beltholders Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, of Mexico, and Miguel Cotto, of Puerto Rico, who have the WBC and WBA titles, respectively.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum also has plans for Chavez to face RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and ex-beltholder Antonio Margarito at some point.

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