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L E’s Stories – “The Invincible One Had Iron Lungs” – Tribute To Legendary Featherweight Salvador Sanchez

Our Bone Daddy was the original Sportsphile….who was responsible for video taping over 2300 hours of mostly sports, comedy and music during the 17 years that he owned his sports bar, Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place, at 302 E. 6th Street in downtown Austin, Texas from 1974 to 1991….and of the 1200+ videos that we have in our incredible vintage library here at Imasportsphile….he recorded some 850 boxing videos….which included over 600 championship title fights….as he would play back these bouts at his sports bar throughout his tenure in the business.  It was Bone Daddy’s opinion that the time frame from 1964, beginning with the World Heavyweight Title Fight between Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964 ….and running through the November 13, 1999 World Heavyweight Title Fight between Evander Holyfield Vs Lennox Lewis…..was what we refer to as The Golden Age of Boxing…..for this was a 35 year period of boxing where there we more “legends of boxing”, in every weight class, than at any other period of professional boxing.  Now, it is important to understand that due to the convergence of television and money coming into the sport during this era…..which caused an atmosphere for many of the greatest athletes in the world to enter the sport, instead of going into another sport…..which was a significant reason for this era being The Golden Age of Boxing….and for this reason, there were more legends of the sport.  The truth be known, Bone Daddy certainly had his favorites which included heavyweights Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali and Smokin Joe Frasier….light heavyweight Michael “Jinx” Spinks….middleweight Marvelous Marvin Hagler….welterweight Sugar Ray Leonard, Wilfred Benitez and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns…. lightweights Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Duran, Julio Caesar Chavez, Hector “Macho”  Camacho and Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker….and featherweight Salvador Sanchez, Alexis Arguello and Manny Pacquiao…..with his favorites of all of these being Muhammad Ali and Salvador Sanchez.  So, posting this story of the incredible Salvador Sanchez is a real joy for me because BD says that had he lived and fought as long as the rest of the legendary boxers listed above….“he probably would have been considered the best of all time, regardless of the division that he fought in”  

 

Boxing – 1975 To 1982 – Special – Salvador Sanchez: “Complete Championship Profile”                                                                                                          

 

Salvador Sánchez Narváez (January 26, 1959 – August 12, 1982) was a Mexican boxer born in the town of Santiago Tianguistenco, Estado de México…..who was the WBC and lineal featherweight champion from 1980 to 1982…..as many of his contemporaries, as well as boxing writers, believe that had it not been for his premature death, Sánchez could have gone on to become the greatest featherweight boxer of all time.  Sánchez died on August 12, 1982 in a car accident on his way from Querétaro to San Luis Potosí.  

 

Boxing – 1975 To 1982 – Special – “Lo Mejor De Salvador Sanchez” (The Best of Salvador Sanchez Tribute)

 

In 1991, Sánchez was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame….. while The Ring magazine named both him and Sugar Ray Leonard as Fighter of the Year in 1981.  In 2002, he was named the 24th greatest fighter of the past 80 years by The Ring magazine.  In 2003, The Ring rated Sánchez # 88 on the list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.  Sánchez was voted as the # 3 featherweight of the 20th century by the Associated Press.                                           

 

Boxing – 1976 – 10 Rnd Featherweight Bout – Salvador Sanchez vs Jose Chavez

 

Boxing – 1976 – 10 Rnd Featherweight Bout – Salvador Sanchez Vs Antonio Leon

 

Boxing – 1977 – 10 Rnd Featherweight Bout – Salvador Sanchez Vs Rosalio Badillo

 

Boxing – 1977 – 10 Rnd Featherweight Bout Highlights – Salvador Sanchez Vs Eliseo Cosme

 

Boxing – 1979 – 10 Rnd Featherweight Bout – Salvador Sanchez vs Richard Rozelle

 

Sánchez started his professional career at the age of 16, as a teenager (after a brief amateur career consisting of reportedly 4 amateur bouts)….as he started piling up wins against tough Mexican opposition…..when his first fight of note came in his 19th professional fight against the Mexican bantamweight champion Antonio Becerra…..as Becerra proved too experienced for the young Sánchez….and the bout ended in a split decision defeat for Sánchez…..which was his only defeat of his career.                                                   

 

Boxing – 1975 To 1982 – Retro Boxing Presents – Salvador Sanchez Complete Documentary

 

Sánchez kept on fighting and moved to the Featherweight division….and  soon thereafter, he had beaten people like the Puerto Rican featherweight champion Felix Trinidad Sr…..while on his way to securing a title shot at against world featherweight champion Danny “Little Red” Lopez….who was a popular TV fighter of the late 1970’s…..as an impressive fighter and that had won some spectacular fights against the likes of former world champion David Kotei (twice), Juan Malvares and Mike Ayala.  Confident and hard to beat, Lopez was beaten by the 21-year-old Sánchez….who knocked out the defending champion in 13 rounds in Phoenix, Arizona on February 2, 1980. Sánchez defended his title for the 1st time with a 15-round unanimous decision against Ruben Castillo….who was 47 – 1 going into the fight. Thinking it was just a case of “beginner’s luck”….as it was Sánchez’s 1st world title fight ever….so, Lopez looked for a rematch….which he got in Las Vegas. This time Sánchez defeated Lopez by 14th-round TKO….then in his next title defense he defeated Patrick Ford….who was 15 – 0 coming into the fight.                                                                                                                                   

 

Boxing – 1980 – World Featherweight Title Fight – Salvador Sanchez Vs Danny “Little Red” Lopez – Fight 1

 

Boxing – 1980 – 15 Rnd WBC World Featherweight Title Fight – Salvador Sanchez Vs Danny “Little Red” Lopez – Fight 2

 

Boxing – 1980 – 15 Rnd WBC World Featherweight Title – Ruben Castillo Vs Salvador Sanchez – With Howard Cosell

 

Boxing – 1980 – 15 Rnd WBC Featherweight Title Fight – Patrick Ford Vs. Salvador Sanchez – With Howard Cosell

 

On December 13, 1980, Sánchez defeated future champion Juan Laporte by unanimous decision…..and then Sánchez defended his title against Roberto Castanon….who was 43 – 1 coming into the fight…..and then he scored a win over Nicky Perez….with a record of 50–3.  However, it was when then undefeated World Jr Featherweight champion Wilfredo Gómez (32–0–1) went up in weight and challenged Sánchez…..as Sánchez retained the crown by a knockout in 8th round on August 21, 1981 in Las Vegas….and Gómez had to return to the Jr. Featherweight division.  With that victory, Salvador was an unknown to the casual boxing fan no more…..as he became a household name all over the United States that night.                                                   

 

Boxing – 1980 – 15 Rnd WBC Featherweight Title Fight – Juan LaPorte Vs Salvador Sanchez – with Howard Cosell

 

Boxing – 1981 – 15 Rnd WBC Featherweight Title Fight – Roberto Castanon Vs Salvador Sanchez – With Howard Cosell

 

Boxing – 1981 – 10 Rnd Featherweight Bout – Nicky Perez Vs Salvador Sanchez – With Vin Scully

 

Boxing – 1981 – 15 Rnd WBC Featherweight Title Fight – Wilfredo Gomez Vs Salvador Sanchez

 

In his next fight, he defeated Olympic medalist Pat Cowdell by split decision. His defense vs unheralded Jorge “Rocky” Garcia was the first fight featuring two featherweights ever to be televised by HBO…..when he beat Garcia punch after punch…..but the challenger gave honor to his nickname…..as an unknown fighter who went the distance with the world champion.                                    

 

Boxing – 1981 – 15 Rnd WBC Featherweight Title Fight – Pat Cowdell Vs Salvador Sanchez – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant

 

Boxing – 1981 – 15 Rnd WBC Featherweight Title Fight – Jorge “Rocky” Garcia Vs Salvador Sanchez – With Barry Tompkins + Larry Merchant

 

On July 21, 1982, Sánchez faced future champion Azumah Nelson at Madison Square Garden…..as Nelson was a late substitute for mandatory challenger Mario Miranda…..and was unknown at the time…… however, even though it  was expected to only go a few rounds with the champ…..but it turned out to be an intense battle….with Sánchez managing to drop his young charge in the 7th round…..when after that they engaged in violent exchange after violent exchange…..but in the 15th round, Sánchez broke out finally….while connecting with a serious combination that dropped the challenger almost outside the ring…..and Referee Tony Perez had to stop the fight seconds later…..but Azumah Nelson went on to have a glittering career….and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.

 

 

Boxing – 1982 – 15 Rnd WBC Featherweight Title Fight – Azumah Nelson Vs Salvador Sanchez – With Don Dunphy

 

Boxing -2012 – Interview Special – Azumah Nelson Tells Story Of His Fight With Salvador Sanchez

 

Sánchez proved a dominant featherweight champion. He held title defense victories over the next three fighters in Juan LaPorte, Wilfredo Gomez and Azumah Nelson (all were rematches)…..as Nelson would win the WBC title after Sanchez death.   He would go 4 – 0….with all by knockout, against fellow members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Danny Lopez twice-KO 13, KO 14…..Wilfredo Gomez-KO 8…..and Azumah Nelson-KO 15…. and defeated four future or former world champions (Lopez, Gomez, LaPorte and Nelson).

 

 

Boxing – 1959 To 1982 – Special – Dillon Michael Thanasides Presents – Tribute To Salvador Sanchez

 

As he was training for a rematch with Laporte set for September, he crashed on the early morning of August 12, 1982….while driving his Porsche 928 sports car along the federal highway from Querétaro to San Luis Potosí, dying instantly.  At the time of his death, there were talks about a bout with Miranda….a rematch with Gómez….or a challenge of world lightweight champion Alexis Argüello…..albeit the latter was already off the table…..as there had been negotiations between the Sánchez and Argüello camps….but they broke off when Argüello chose to campaign as a junior welterweight. Salvador Sánchez finished his career 44-1-1. Sánchez was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

 

 

Boxing – 1982 – Special – Salvador Sanchez: “La Verdadera Causa de su Muerte No Se Quiso Vender (The True Cause Of His Death Was Not For Sale)

 

Sánchez appeared as himself, albeit as a Junior Lightweight world champion, in the 1983 film The Last Fight, released after his death. The movie was dedicated to him. In it, Sánchez shared scenes with Ruben Blades, who played a challenger to Sánchez’s title.  In the movie 21, Ben Campbell, played by Jim Sturgess, introduces himself to a girl as Salvador Sánchez.

 

 

 
Music – 1983 – Los Broncos de Reynosa – “Corrido de Salvador Sánchez”

It has always been said that “the good die young”…..but in the case of Salvador Sanchez it can be simply said that “the truly great die young”….for although he had a total of 46 professional fights under his belt by the time he was 23 years old….as the world got to see a legendary boxer display his trade for 6 short years….whereas, the truth of the matter is that boxing fans never got to see the best of Salvador Sanchez….cuz the truth be known, his body had not even fully matured by age 23.  In our humble opinion here at ImaSportsphile….Salvador Sanchez was the greatest Mexican fighter of all time….regardless of what the boxing pundits say about Julio Caesar Chavez.  The simple truth is that had Sanchez fought professionally for 24 years instead of the 6 years that he did fight….and you extrapolated his record time four….he would have had a career of 176 wins and 5 losses….while compared to Chavez career of 106 wins and 6 losses….but even at age 23, Sanchez had already fought every “top shelf” featherweight except Alexis Arguello….who chose not to fight the young Sanchez….and instead, moved up a class to super featherweight….while relenquishing his featherweight title to do so….whereas, Chavez chose to avoid every “top shelf” featherweight until they were “long in the tooth” of their career….evidenced by his bouts with Ruben Castillo (61 – 4), Rocky Lockridge (44 – 8), Jose Luis Ramirez (101 – 6) and Bazooka Limon (51 – 14).  Simply put, at age 23, Salvador Sanchez was also a better technical boxer than Julio Ceasar Chavez ever was in his career.  Any way you cut the pie, we here are ImaSportsphile are honored to post this story of a truly gifted master of the art of pugilism, as the videos posted in his story herewith provide plenty of evidence of why we are delighted to honor a true boxing legend.

 

Boxing – 1976 To 1982 – ABC Sports With Howard Cosell – A Tribute To Salvador Sanchez

 

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