The June 16 fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Andy Lee could still happen at the Sun Bowl, as the University of Texas System chancellor has reversed a ban that came three days ago and not only upset fight fans, but local officials in El Paso, and was questioned by many.
But there are some fairly strict conditions in place, including, if the fight does happen at the Sun Bowl, a ban on alcohol being served at the event. That alone might make enough of an impact that the venue won't be a legitimate option, but the UT System must also approve what sounds like it needs to be a large-scale security plan, so one has to wonder if the board really has any intention of allowing the fight to take place at the Sun Bowl, or if they're simply "not cancelling the event," and allowing the promoters to "fail" in coming up with acceptable security measures.
If the fight doesn't go ahead at the Sun Bowl, the leading candidates have been reported as Houston (Toyota Center) and San Antonio (Alamodome), with light mention of the event just moving out of Texas entirely and heading to California, too.
There's simply something about this that stinks gloriously. As the El Paso politicians and officials have noted, the city is consistently ranked near the top of the list of America's safest cities, even with its close proximity to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Most seem to feel that the decision to cancel the event was made hastily at best, and without much legitimate reason to suspect that Chavez vs Lee was some huge security risk. El Paso hosted the Abner Mares vs Eric Morel card on April 21 at the Don Haskins Convention Center, where the UTEP basketball team plays, and has hosted several boxing cards over the years without issue.
But it was recently reported that the concerns may have been a lot more legitimate than many locals first believed:
A federal risk assessment of a now-canceled West Texas boxing match predicted it would draw leaders from two rival drug cartels, but noted the cartels had declared the event a “neutral zone,” a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Friday.
The official, who is familiar with the contents of the report, spoke on condition of anonymity because the official isn’t authorized to release the information. The official said the report was done by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and given to University of Texas at El Paso police.
My gut feeling is the fight still won't take place at the Sun Bowl, so I'm hoping nobody gets their hopes up only to have them crushed again.