Feature Story

Chavez-Martinez undercard presser

Story by Andreas Hale
Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank 

Although the 19,186 fight fans that will by rocking the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas are coming to see one bout on Saturday night, every single other fighter on this card has an opportunity to gain more exposure than they ever had in their career.

The undercard of the highly anticipated middleweight battle between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. will feature several fighters on the cusp of becoming more than just another boxer. With Notre Dame standout Mike Lee, Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux and a super featherweight title showdown between Roman Martinez and Miguel Beltran Jr. highlighting the undercard, everyone is jockeying to have their name in the bright lights one day. Knowing that both Martinez and Chavez, Jr. worked their way up from being the undercard, each of these fighters will be looking to seize the opportunity on Saturday night.

Notre Dame’s Mike Lee (10-) has already landed a Subway commercial and will look to continue his unbeaten career against Paul Harness, who plans on playing spoiler.

“I just want to come out, put on a good show and shock everyone who doesn’t know me,” Harness said at Thursday’s final presser. Lee, meanwhile, will have his fans behind him as he prepares to put on a show. “I feel strong, phenomenal and healthy,” Lee said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to fight in front of the world. We’re going to put on a show.”

Robert Marroquin will also be looking to play spoiler. However, he wasn’t even sure he’d be getting a shot at Guillermo Rigondeaux as legal issues nearly prevented the bout for the Cuban’s WBA World super bantamweight title. Fortunately, the smoke has cleared and the two will clash on the undercard.

“There were a lot of complications with this fight and I want to thank Marroquin to put up with all of this,” Rigondeaux said. “I’m pleased that the fight is now going on.”

Marroquin couldn’t agree more as his training had been tailor made for a Southpaw who is as slick as the Cuban Olympic gold medalist.

“I trained so hard for this fight despite the drama,” Marroquin said. “I’m glad everything worked out and I’m going against Rigondeaux for the WBA title. I think he’s the best 122lbs out there. I’m here to win and give it my all.”

Finally, Roman “Rocky” Martinez and Miguel Beltran, Jr. will battle in yet another Mexico vs. Puerto Rico showdown to get the blood pumping before the main event. “This is my second opportunity to be a world champion,” Martinez said “I prepared myself and I’m just ready to show everyone and I hope to bring this title back to my country.”

As for Beltran, he kept his comments short and sweet as he hoped to do his part in Mexico going two for two in title fights Saturday.

“I don’t have much to say but the championship is going to Mexico.”

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