In the first 15 minutes of this video…HBO gives us a wonderful look at the lightweight division and its many great and legendary fighters…..which is absolutely priceless stuff…..plus it gives further evidence in support of my contention that the golden age of boxing was from 1964 to 1995….as there were more super great fighters and more legends than at any other time in boxing history….as Edwin Rosario and Julio Cezar Chavez are two of the reasons…..cuz they were both great fighters.
In this lil ole Sportsphile’s opinion….Julio Cesar Chavez was one of the boxers in the golden age of boxing that achieved legendary status….ending his professional career that spanned 25 years with 107 wins 6 defeats and 86 KO’s….so I have decided to give you a little extra history of this exceptional fighter.
Julio César Chávez is a Mexican former professional boxer….who in 2016 is still considered by acclamation as the greatest Mexican fighter of all time….and one of the greatest boxers of all time. Chávez was a six-time world champion in three weight divisions….who for several years was considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world. In a career that covered two and one half decades….Chávez won the WBC super featherweight title in 1984….the WBA and WBC lightweight titles in 1987 and 1988….the WBC light welterweight title in 1989 and 1994….and the IBF light welterweight title in 1990….having been named the 1987 and 1990 Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring magazine respectively.
He holds records for the most successful defenses of world titles (27)….most title fight victories (31)….most title fights (37)….and the second most title defenses won by knockout (21, after Joe Louis with 23). Chávez also has the longest undefeated streak in boxing history….covering 13 years with a record of 89–0–1 going into his first official loss to Frankie Randall in 1994….before which he had an 87-fight win streak until his draw with Pernell Whitaker in 1993. Chávez also set the record for the largest attendance for a boxing match, with 132,274 people at the Estadio Azteca for his fight against Greg Haugen in 1993.
Chávez was known for his outstanding punching power….devastating body attack….remarkably strong chin and the relentless stalking of his opponents. He ranks #24 on ESPN’s list of “50 Greatest Boxers of All Time”. On December 7, 2010, he was inducted in the prestigious International Boxing Hall of Fame for the Class of 2011. He is the father of prospect Omar Chávez and former middleweight champion Julio César Chávez, Jr.
Julio César Chávez was born on July 12, 1962 in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Mexico. His father, Rodolfo Chavez, worked for the railroad, and Julio grew up in an abandoned railroad car with his five sisters and four brothers. Chávez came from a poor family and became a boxer for money….stating “I saw my mom working, ironing, and washing people’s clothes….and I promised her I would give her a house someday and she would never have that job again.” ….so, he began boxing as an amateur at the age of 16 and he then moved to Tijuana to pursue a professional career. Chávez made his professional debut at age 17….and In his 12th fight on March 4, 1980….Chávez faced Miguel Ruiz in Culiacán, Sinaloa. Chavez landed a blow that knocked Ruiz out at the end of the 1st round….as the punch was delivered as the bell sounded….having been ruled a disqualification in the ring and Ruiz was declared the winner. The next day, however, his manager, Ramón Felix, consulted with the Mexican boxing commission, and after further review, the result was overturned and Chávez was declared the winner.
Chávez won his first championship, the vacant WBC super featherweight title, on September 13, 1984, by knocking out fellow Mexican Mario “Azabache” Martínez at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA….as.Martínez had been the betting favorite in the bout….due partly to his previous victory over former WBC world champion Rolando Navarette in a non-title bout. On April 19, 1985, Chávez defended his title against number one ranked contender Ruben Castillo (63-4-2) by knocking him out in the sixth round. On July 7, 1985, Chavez defeated former and future champion Roger Mayweather via a second round knockout. On August 3, 1986, Chavez won a twelve round majority decision over former WBA and future IBF super featherweight champion Rocky Lockridge in Monte Carlo, Monaco. In his next bout, he defeated former champion Juan Laporte by a twelve round unanimous decision. On March 18, 1987, he defeated number one ranked challenger Francisco Tomas Cruz (27-1-0) by third round knockout. He successfully defended his WBC Super Featherweight title a total of nine times.
On November 21, 1987, Chávez moved up to the lightweight division and faced WBA lightweight champion Edwin Rosario….as seen in this video. Prior to the bout, there were concerns about how Chávez would handle the move up in weight against the hard punching Puerto Rican. Chávez commented, “Everything I’ve accomplished as champion, and the nine title defenses, would be thrown away with a loss to Rosario.” The two fighters nearly exchanged blows during a press conference after Rosario threatened to send Chávez back to Mexico in a coffin. Chávez would ultimately give a career-defining performance as he defeated Rosario by an eleventh round TKO to win the title. HBO Punchstat showed Rosario landing 263 of 731 punches thrown in the fight (36%) and Chavez 450 of 743 (61%). After the bout, Sports Illustrated ran the headline, “Time To Hail César: WBA Lightweight Champion César Chávez of Mexico may be the world’s best fighter.”
On April 16, 1988, Chávez defeated number one ranked contender Rodolfo Aguilar (20-0-1) by sixth round technical knockout. On June 4, 1988, he won against former two-time champion Rafael Limón by scoring a seventh round TKO. Later that year, he unified the WBA and WBC belts by a technical decision win over champion José Luis Ramírez. An accidental head-butt opened a cut on Ramírez’s forehead and the doctor halted the fight, sending the decision to the judges’ scorecards at that point in the fight. Chávez, ahead on all scorecards, was declared the winner. He was also awarded the The Ring Lightweight title after the victory. Chavez vacated his WBA and WBC lightweight titles in order to move up to the super lightweight division.
In his next bout, he won the WBC light welterweight title by defeating Roger Mayweather for a second time. Mayweather did not come out of his corner after the tenth round….thus giving Chavez the TKO win. In 1989, Chávez defeated future champion Sammy Fuentes by tenth round TKO. In his next bout, he handed Alberto de las Mercedes Cortes (44-0) his first career loss by scoring a third round knockout.
I will cover more on Chavez’s remarkable career….cuz he was truly one of the greats…..and Edwin Rosario was no slouch either….who after turning pro eventually gained a record of 21-0 with 20 knockouts. This led to talks of a title fight against World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion Alexis Argüello to be held in Miami….but Argüello relinquished the title to move up in weight to challenge junior welterweight champion Aaron Pryor. With Arguello retired, Rosario was matched with Mexico’s José Luis Ramírez on May 1, 1983 for the vacant WBC lightweight title. Rosario dominated the first 7 rounds, but tired down the stretch to make for a very close fight. The judges, as well as most of the public present, felt Rosario had done enough to win. He became world lightweight champion by the unanimous score of 115-113 on all 3 judging cards. Rosario injured his hand during the fight and needed surgery, for which the World Boxing Council gave him a dispensation.
He didn’t return to the ring until 1984. In his first defense of the title….he faced Roberto Elizondo….who had lasted 7 rounds with Argüello in a previous world title challenge and was expected to give him a tough fight. Rosario knocked out Elizondo in one round. Howard Davis Jr proved more of a challenge in their fight…..as Davis Jr was ahead on all scorecards with ten seconds remaining in the bout….but was dropped by Rosario and lost a split decision. A rematch with Ramírez was scheduled, again in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on November 3, 1984. Rosario dropped Ramírez once in round one and again in the second….but the challenger got off the canvas to take Rosario’s title away with a fourth-round TKO. This was Rosario’s first defeat. Some fans felt he never fully recovered, although he won three more championships.
Rosario won a comeback fight against Frankie Randall, the future world champion, in London. He had to wait another year before an opportunity to regain the title. On June 13, 1986, he met the world champion Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho at Madison Square Garden in New York. The fight was televised by HBO, and although Rosario shook Camacho badly in the fifth round and rallied down the stretch, Camacho swept the middle rounds. The judges, in a split decision, awarded Camacho the fight. Because of the closeness of that bout, the WBA gave Rosario a chance to challenge Livingstone Bramble….the other world lightweight champion. Rosario went to Miami and defeated Bramble by knockout in the second round to become world lightweight champion for the second time. His pose, raising his arms after the fight, became The Ring magazine’s cover for the next month….then Rosario defended the title against fellow Puerto Rican Juan Nazario with a knockout in eight in Chicago. In his next defense, he was beaten by Julio César Chávez in Las Vegas. By the eleventh round, Rosario’s eye was almost completely shut, he was spitting blood from his mouth, and the fight was stopped by his corner….as seen in the video herewith.
Rosario was inactive for seven months then went 7-0 with 6 KO’s in his next fights. After Chavez vacated the title in 1989, Rosario came back and won it again, beating Anthony Jones, a tough Kronk prospect for the championship. Rosario joined a small group of men who had become world champions three times in the same division. This time, however, he didn’t hold the title for long. When he gave Nazario a 1990 rematch at Madison Square Garden, he was defeated on cuts in the 8th round. Rosario moved up a weight class to the junior welterweight division….defeating defending world champion Loreto Garza in three rounds to become a world champion for the 4th time….establishing Edwin Rosario as a truly great fighter in the golden age of boxing.