Will Julio Cesar Chavez Jr be able to use his size to impose his will on Marco Antonio Rubio, as he did in November against Peter Manfredo Jr? (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Marco Antonio Rubio is ready to go for Saturday night's WBC middleweight title shot against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in San Antonio, and had this to say at his final workout in Terreon, Mexico (via fightnews.com):
"I’ll keep the weight and try to keep calm with this confidence and desire to win that I have deep inside of me. The fight has had a lot of different comments in the media which I am grateful, but I’m another type of person. I concentrated on this fight. I’ve waited a long time and I hope to win. It’s time to be world champ."
Rubio (53-5-1, 46 KO) isn't in the most ideal situation on February 4, and he knows it. He's made clear he believes he needs to win via knockout, as he doesn't expect the judging to be fair, and he's already petitioned the WBC to replace Mexican referee Guadalupe Garcia with an international, neutral referee.
We'll have more on the fight all week leading up to Saturday's live coverage, of course, but I do want to say now that I'm finding this matchup more and more interesting, and more than the fight itself, I'm finding the perception of the matchup to be interesting.
Rubio, 31, is 10-0 (9 KO) in his last ten outings, dating back to his embarrassing, one-sided loss to then-world champ Kelly Pavlik in February 2009. This means he's on a roll, and given the lack of respect for Chavez as a legitimate fighter, many are expecting Rubio to give Chavez a ton of trouble.
But what's really there with thoes ten wins? Not much, if we're honest. Some greenhorns, a few journeymen, a couple guys who really had no business in there. The best win over that stretch is not David Lemieux, either, considering Lemieux went out and lost to Joachim Alcine in his next fight. It's Rigoberto Alvarez.
It's easy to forget now, I guess, but Pavlik really trounced Rubio, who looked intimidated and overwhelmed when he got his last really big opportunity. He also looked absolutely tiny compared to Pavlik, who is a legitimate middleweight with a big frame -- and so is Chavez. For a guy who can legitimately fight a bit at 160, Rubio has a small frame for the weight. Chavez has come into his last two fights on the HBO unofficial scales at 185 against Sebastian Zbik, and 1179 against Peter Manfredo. He's a big, sturdy middleweight who can take a shot.
I'm just saying that despite the criticism of Chavez, much of which is legit, Rubio probably has more to worry about than the judges. Top Rank has allowed this fight for a reason. They're confident Rubio can't win. Beating Chavez would be either a career-best win or damn close to it for the veteran.