Picture a moment in time if you will: it’s the final seconds of the 12th round of a WBC and IBF light welterweight championship title fight in Las Vegas, 1990.
El Gran Campeón Mexicano
Eleven savage rounds have already passed and Julio Cesar Chavez is losing the fight, the judges, everyone watching and Chavez himself knows it. All his opponent Meldrick Taylor has to do is remain standing and he wins the belts and more importantly takes Chavez’s unbeaten record of 68 wins away from him.
With 20 seconds left on the clock Chavez who has been stalking his man doggedly throughout the entire fight connects the right hand he had been waiting to land all night and wipes Taylor out. When Taylor staggers to his feet the referee Richard Steele waves the fight off with Taylor in no state to continue.
Controversial as the referees decision was, for me Chavez showed the virtues in that fight that he had displayed throughout his ring entire career – aggression, pressure and a mindset of coming to battle – to walk through all that was thrown at him and destroy!
Chavez finally retired in his twenty-fifth year as a professional boxer with a record of 107 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws, with 86 knockouts. He holds records for most successful defenses of world titles – 27! and most title fights – 37!
Chavez also has the longest undefeated streak in boxing history. His record was 89-0-1 going into his first loss to Frankie Randall and had an 87 fight win streak until his controversial draw with Whitaker.
For those keen to know more about Chavez track down Diego Luna’s recent film:
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Tagged bob arum, boxing, Diego Luna, don king, Frankie Randall, Julio Cesar Chavez, Light heavyweight, lightweight, Meldrick Taylor, mexico, p4p, Super Featherweight, welterweight
Think of boxing superstars and you probably think of Muhammad Ali. When you think of Ali what is it that sticks in your mind? The Ali shuffle? The public persona? It’s no secret that Ali took more than just a touch of inspiration from a certain Walker Smith Jnr, better known as Sugar Ray Robinson calling him “The king, the master, my idol”.
So what is so special about Sugar Ray, why all the fuss?
Sugar Ray Robinson
Put simply he personified the sweet science – knockout power in both hands, dazzling hand speed, stunning footwork, brash super confidence, he knew every punch in the booking text-book and could throw them all, from any angle at any time with explosive power.
He was so good the whole notion of a pound for pound best boxer was created just for Sugar Ray – that’s how special he was.
If you have seen the great film Raging Bull you may remember Robinson’s epic battles with Jake laMotta, they actually fought six times, with Sugar Ray winning five of the six battles.
Robinson retired from boxing with a record of 175-19-6 with 110 knockouts in 200 professional bouts. If you compare that to todays great fighters who tend to retire after around 50 professional fights that will give you some context to this achievement.
I genuinely struggle to put into words how good Sugar Ray Robinson was, to watch him in action is to see something that perhaps only comes around once in history.
Words like genius and legend are banded around so often these days that they have lost their impact, but Sugar Ray really personified both traits.
Watch this video – really do watch it – if you’ve never seen him in action before you are in for something very special indeed:
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Tagged ali, Best Boxing News Sites Around!, boxing, Gene Fullmer, GOAT, jake la motta, jake laMotta, Light heavyweight, lightweight, Middleweight, muhammad ali, p4p, pound for pound, randy turpin, ricky hatton, robinson, sugar ray, WBC, welterweight