POSTED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 1:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 9:07am
UTEP has announced the cancellation of the Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr vs Andy Lee fight on June 16, in response to a determination by University of Texas System officials that the Sun Bowl on the UTEP Campus is not the appropriate venue for this event.
Top Rank Officials and Promoter Lester Bedford have told Newschannel 9 that security concerns are the reason for the move, to either Houston or San Antonio, and that the fight will still take place on June 16, just not in El Paso.
Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum told Newschannel 9, "UTEP could not host this fight because of high security concerns... Look at the two fighters, you look at me, we're not a security concern. High security concerns is code for something else... I am not going to say it, but you guys figure it out." UTEP Executive Vice President Richard Adauto added, "We are very comfortable holding these events here, whether it's a UTEP football game, Sun Bowl football game, or even a Monster Truck show, which we had over 80,000 people here over the span of a weekend, we know how to put on these events, and we're very comfortable doing them. Actually we are in charge of security, the university is. We work with the promoters, we work with HBO, and our security force, which is our campus police, work with local law enforcement agencies, but we do that for any event in the Sun Bowl. Again, whether it's a UTEP game, monster truck show, or a concert, we always coordinate with local law enforcement agencies."
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. added, "I feel a little bit sad because we made plans to fight here for all of the people of El Paso, and I think it's a very bad decision to tell us the day of the press conference and it's not fair." His father, Julio Cesar Chavez, said, "I would have loved for my son to fight here, where I fought a long time ago. For us, it would have been important because there would be a lot of Mexicans." Andy Lee, Chavez Jr's opponent, added "It's a shame that the fight won't be here, I was looking forward to coming here and fighting for you people, and hopefully where ever the fight is, you guys can come and watch HBO to see the fight
Boxing officials and UTEP officials were equally irate at the decision by UT System officials.
Statement from teh UT System Office of Public Affairs:“After consultation with University of Texas System officials and UT El Paso officials, it was determined that the Sun Bowl on the UT El Paso Campus is not the appropriate venue for the Chavez, Jr., and Lee professional boxing match.”
For information or to voice your concerns about this cancellation, please email the University of Texas system at: email@example.com