Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. recovered from a slow start he blamed on leg cramps and stopped Andy Lee at 2:21 of the seventh round Saturday night to retain the WBC middleweight title.
A right uppercut by Chavez snapped Lee's head upwards and sideways and Chavez connected on a barrage of punches before referee Laurence Cole intervened and waved an end to the fight.
''I began by studying him,'' Chavez said. ''I saw he had nothing, and I dove in.''
Chavez (46-0-1, 32 KOs) began tentatively, not even throwing his first punch until 75 seconds had elapsed in the first round, and was initially outboxed by Lee (28-2), a much taller challenger than Chavez had previously faced. But as the next two rounds passed, the Mexican champion began to stalk Lee, blasting him with right-cross counterpunches.
''He's strong, he's young, he's big,'' Chavez said of Lee. ''He gave me everything he had, but he couldn't do anything to me.''
In the fifth round, Chavez openly taunted Lee's punching power, droppin...