Trainer Manny Steward told RingTV.com recently that he expects his fighter, southpaw Andy Lee, to dethrone WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by knockout on Saturday night on HBO from The Sun Bowl in El Paso, Tex.
On Saturday, super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez agreed with Steward’s assessment.
Rodriguez (21-0, 14 knockouts) and fellow 168-pounders Donovan George (22-2-1, 19 KOs), Adonis Stevenson (18-1, 15 KOs) and Bryan Vera, as well as light heavyweight Mike Jiminez (7-0, 4 KOs) were among those who sparred with Lee in preparation for Chavez.
“Andy Lee was in great shape. He was on point. He was a tremendous fighter from the outside,” said Rodriguez, who defeated George by unanimous decision in the co-feature to RING champion Sergio Martinez vs. Matthew Macklin in March.
“Andy has a good jab and he’s a really good counter-puncher. I think that he’s going to be able to box Chavez’s ears off and come out victorious and be the new WBC champion of the world.”
Lee (28-1, 20 KOs) has won his past 13 fights, eight of them by knockout. He suffered his lone defeat by seventh-round stoppage in March of 2008 against Bryan Vera, but avenged it with a 10-round unanimous decision win in October of last year.
In victory, Chavez (45-0-1, 31 KOs) is looking to face Martinez on Sept. 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Chavez-Lee also matches two of the sport’s premiere trainers in Steward and Chavez’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who also works with eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao and former IBF and WBA beltholder Amir Khan.