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Julio César Chávez González (born July 12, 1962 in Ciudad Obregónmarker, Sonoramarker) is a former Mexicanmarker professional boxer. He is a six-time world champion in three weight divisions. His career spanned over twenty-five years. In his prime he was considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and also the greatest Mexican boxer in history. He ranks #24 on ESPN's 50 Greatest Boxers Of All Time.


Early career and Super Featherweight title

Julio Caesar Chavez Gonzalez was born on July 12, 1962 in Ciudad Obregónmarker, Sonoramarker, 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. He began boxing as an amateur at the age of sixteen.

Chávez made his professional debut on February 5, 1980 at age 17. In his 12th fight, on March 4, 1981, Chávez faced Miguel Ruiz in Culiacánmarker, Sinaloamarker. At the end of the first round, Chavez landed a blow that knocked out Ruiz. Delivered as the bell sounded, the blow was ruled a disqualification in the ring and Ruiz was declared the winner. The next day, however, after further review, the Mexican boxing commission reversed the result and proclaimed Chávez 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 Angelesmarker, California. Martínez had been the betting favorite in the bout. On April 19, 1985, Chávez defended his title against Ruben Castillo (63-4-2) by knocking him out in the sixth round. On July 7, 1985, Chavez defeated future champion Roger Mayweather via a second round knock out. 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, Monacomarker. In his next bout, he defeated former champion Juan Laporte by a twelve round unanimous decision. He successfully defended his WBC Super Featherweight title a total of nine times.

Stepping up to Lightweight

On November 21, 1987, Chávez moved up to the lightweight division and faced WBA lightweight champion Edwin Rosario. 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 264 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 Rodolfo Aguilar (20-0-1) by sixth round technical knockout. On June 4, 1988, he successfully defended his title against former two-time champion Rafael Limon 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 Ring lightweight title after the victory.Chavez vacated his WBA and WBC lightweight titles in order to move up to the super lightweight division.

Stepping up to Super Lightweight

In his next bout, he won the WBC super lightweight title by defeating Roger Mayweather for a second time. Mayweather did not come out of his corner after the tenth round, 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.

Chávez vs Taylor

On March 17, 1990, he faced Meldrick Taylor (see Chavez versus Taylor), the undefeated IBF Junior Welterweight champion, in a title unification fight. While Taylor won the early rounds, Chávez rallied in the later rounds, scoring a knockdown with 16 seconds remaining in the final round. Although Taylor rose at the referee's count of six, he did not respond coherently to referee Richard Steele's questions, continued to hold the ropes all along, and Steele stopped the fight with only two seconds remaining. Many boxing fans and members of the media were outraged that Steele would stop a match that Taylor was winning with only two seconds left, while others felt that Steele was justified in stopping the fight given Taylor's condition and the fact that he was unable to respond to Steele before the conclusion of the match. Steele defended his decision by saying that his concern is protecting a fighter, regardless of how much time is left in the round or the fight. As Steele put it, "I stopped it because Meldrick had took a lot of good shots, a lot of hard shots, and it was time for it to stop. You know, I'm not the timekeeper, and I don't care about the time. When I see a man that has had enough, I'm stopping the fight." Ring Magazine named it the "Fight of the Year" for 1990, and later the "Fight of the Decade" for the 1990s. While many hoped for an immediate rematch, Taylor moved up in weight in his next bout and the fighters did not meet again until 1994 when Chávez dominated and then knocked out a faded Taylor in nine rounds.

After unifying the titles, Chávez engaged in a busy series of title defenses and non-title fights. On December 8, 1990, he defeated the WBC mandatory challenger Kyung-Duk Ahn (29-1) by third round knockout. On March 18, 1991, he defeated WBC number four ranked fighter John Duplessis (34-1) by fourth round TKO. On September 14, 1991, Chávez won a twelve round unanimous decision over future champion Lonnie Smith. April 10, 1992, he scored a TKO victory over number one ranked contender Angel Hernandez (37-0-2, 22 KOs) in the fifth round. Later that year, he defeated Frankie Mitchell (29-1) by fourth round TKO.

Chávez vs Camacho

On September 12, 1992, Chávez faced WBO light welterweight champion Hector "Macho" Camacho (41-1-0, 18 KOs) in a highly anticipated bout. Chavez dominated Camacho en route to a unanimous decision win. The final scores were 117-111, 119-110 and 120-107 for Chávez.

Chávez vs. Haugen attracts 136,000+

His 1993 fight with Greg Haugen featured trash talk from Haugen, who derided Chavez's 82-fight unbeaten streak as consisting mostly of "Tijuana taxi drivers that my mother could have knocked out" and insisting that "There aren't 130,000 Mexicans who can afford tickets" to see the fight in Estadio Aztecamarker. Chavez responded by saying, "I really hate him bad. When he looks at me, I want to vomit. I am going to give him the worst beating of his life; I am going to make him swallow the words that came out of his dirty mouth." Haugen was proven wrong on both counts: 132,274 showed up to set a record for fight attendance, and they watched Chávez drop Haugen quickly and then back off with the apparent intention of punishing him for his prefight remarks. However, the referee had seen enough by the fifth round and stopped it for a TKO victory for Chávez. After the fight, Chávez commented to Haugen; "Now you know I don't fight with taxi drivers", and a bloodied Haugen sportingly responded, "They must have been tough taxi drivers.". Later that year, Chávez scored a sixth-round TKO victory over number one ranked contender Terrence Alli.

Draw with Whitaker and first career loss

After a division record twenty consecutive defenses of his light welterweight title, Chávez (87-0) moved up one more weight division to challenge Pernell Whitaker (32-1) for his WBC welterweight title in September 1993; Chávez being the stalker and Whitaker being the elusive target. Throughout the fight Chávez was outboxed by the slick Whitaker, who used lateral movement, and a quick jab to keep his opponent at bay. The result of the fight was a controversial majority draw, allowing Chávez to remain undefeated. Various members of the American media, including The Ring magazine and Sports Illustrated were critical of the decision, and Sports Illustrated put Pernell Whitaker on the cover of its next magazine with a one word title, "Robbed!"..

Chavez continued defending his light welterweight title and on December 18, 1993, he defeated Britishmarker Commonwealth light welterweight champion Andy Holligan (21-0-0) by fifth round TKO. Chávez faced Frankie Randall in January 1994, in a fight that most expected him to win easily. Instead, Randall knocked him down for the first time in his career and went on to win a split decision, and Chávez lost the title to Randall. Chávez said his loss on referee Richard Steele, who deducted two points from Chávez for low blows, which effected the difference on the scorecards. The WBC ordered an immediate rematch and Chávez regained the title on a split technical decision in May, 1994. The fight was fiercely contested when they collided heads opened a large cut over Chávez's eye brow in the seventh round. Chávez came back strong and showed he was the stronger boxer, after the head cut, the referee called for the doctor who then instructed for the fight to be stopped. Under WBC rules, Randall was deducted one point, and that gave Chávez the technical victory on the score cards. The two would face one another in a rubber match ten years later in which Julio César Chávez would easily win.

Chavez then faced Meldrick Taylor in a rematch, 4 years after their historic first fight. Chavez defeated him in the 8th round knockout that sent Taylor from one side of the ring to the other. In his next bout/fight, Chavez defeated the three-time champion Tony Lopez. In 1995, he defeated the lightweight and future super lightweight champion Giovanni Parisi.

On June 7, 1996, Chávez faced Oscar De La Hoya. A large gash appeared over the right eye of Chávez within the first minute of the first round, leading many to assume what Chávez later confirmed--that the cut occurred earlier in training and was reopened in the bout. Heavy blood flow prompted the referee to stop the fight in the fourth round. Until their eventual rematch in 1998, Chavez would always state that De La Hoya had not defeated him, but that a gash that he had suffered in training was the real cause of the stoppage of the fight. In his next bout, Chavez defeated former champion Joey Gamache in his 100th career bout.

A year after De La Hoya moved up to welterweight in 1997, Chávez fought Miguel Angel Gonzalez for the vacant WBC super lightweight title. That fight ended in a draw. In a rematch with De La Hoya for the WBC welterweight belt in September 1998, De La Hoya decided not to use his speed and reach advantages, and instead chose to punch the 36 year old Chávez repeatedly to the head and the body in an effort to force a stoppage that could not be disputed. After the eighth round, video shows Chávez telling his corner he couldn't continue because of severe laceration on his lip and the fight was stopped.

Retirement and farewell fights

Chavez won his first two bouts in 1999 before losing to unheralded Willy Wise via 10 round unanimous decision. In 2000, at the age of 38, Chávez challenged light welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu but lost the bout via 6th round TKO. After a 2001 victory over Terry Thomas in Ciudad Juarezmarker, Mexico, Chávez retired. However, on November 24, 2003, he came out of retirement to avenge his earlier loss to Willy Wise, knocking Wise out in two rounds in Tijuana, Mexicomarker. In April 2004, Chávez went back into the ring, for what he again claimed would be his last appearance. In that fight, nicknamed Adiós, México, Gracias (Good-bye, Mexico, Thank you), he beat his former conqueror, Frankie Randall, by a ten round decision. On May 28, 2005, Chávez once again stepped into a boxing ring, outpointing Ivan Robinson in ten rounds at the Staples Centermarker.On September 17, 2005, at the U.S.marker Airways Centermarker in Phoenix, Arizonamarker, Chávez suffered a TKO loss to little-known Grover Wiley in the 115th bout of his career, retiring in his corner before the start of the 5th round, apparently due to an injury to his right hand. After the bout, Chávez told his promoter, Bob Arum, that this time he was definitely retiring from boxing.

Career in review

Considered one of the greatest fighters in history, Chávez won six world titles in three weight divisions: WBC Super Featherweight (1984), WBA Lightweight (1987), WBC Lightweight (1988), WBC Super Lightweight (1989), IBF Light Welterweight (1990), and WBC Super Lightweight (1994). Chávez also went undefeated for 93 bouts before his first retirement with a record of 104-5-2 (80 knockouts). World champions whom Chávez defeated include Jose Luis Ramírez, Rafael Limon, Rocky Lockridge, Meldrick Taylor, Roger Mayweather, Lonnie Smith, Sammy Fuentes, Héctor "Macho" Camacho, Juan Laporte, Edwin Rosario, Greg Haugen, Tony López, Giovanni Parisi, Joey Gamache, and Frankie Randall, who had taken the WBC light welterweight belt from Chávez just four months earlier. He lost to only two champions: Oscar De La Hoya and Kostya Tszyu. He was held to a draw by two others: Pernell Whitaker and Miguel Angel Gonzalez.

In 2002, Ring Magazine ranked Chávez as the 18th greatest fighter of the last 80 years. He was also ranked #50 on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Chávez 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, and was one of the best boxers of all time. He holds records for most successful defenses of world titles (27) and most title fights (37). Chávez also has the longest undefeated streak in boxing history. His record was 90-0-1 going into his first loss to Frankie Randall and had an 88 fight win streak until his controversial draw with Whitaker. In 2002, Ring Magazine ranked Chávez as the 18th greatest fighter of the last 80 years. He was also ranked #50 on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. His son, Julio Jr., is also a professional boxer and is undefeated to date.

Awards and achievements

See also


  3. Chavez vs. Rosario -
  5. Julio Cesar Chavez -vs.- Meldrick Taylor
  6. Chavez vs. Haugen -
  7. Down And Out In Mexico City - Vault
  8. Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio Cesar Chavez - Boxrec
  9. Julio Cesar Chavez Bio -

External links

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