Julio Cesar Chavez
Julio Cesar Chavez is the pride of Mexico, lauded by all his countrymen for his outstanding reputation as a prize fighter that was powerful and enduring throughout his twenty five year career. Chavez clearly brought an exciting match to the ring when he confronted his opponents and beyond the entertainment value, he brought talent and an amazing record of victories.
Chavez began a family tradition in establishing himself as a prizefighter, with his sons Omar and Julio Jr. following in his footsteps. Chavez was born in 1962 along the northwest coast of Mexico in Cuidad Obregon to a poor railroad man that raised his family of twelve in a discard railroad car. As a child, Chavez dreamed of an easier life and his path to professional boxing did indeed deliver on that count. He left home as an adolescent to pursue a better life and began fighting professionally when he was 17 years old.
With an incredible record of almost 95 percent victory throughout his boxing career, Chavez went undefeated for over a decade. He is a champion six times over in a few varied weight classes and he fought eighty-eight times before he suffered his first draw late in his career at the age of 31. The tides then began to turn slightly from his record of zero losses with strong, young fighters making their way through the ranks.
Chavez was known for his endurance, being able to take a beating and come back round after round for the entire evening and his opponents rarely showed the same degree of stamina. A Chavez match might last for quite some time and challengers would grow painfully spent. He fought primarily in Mexico through the early 80’s before moving beyond the border to broaden his list of defeated adversaries.
Some of those that walked away from his fights overpowered by Chavez include Hector Camacho, Sammy Fuentes and Meldrick Taylor. Chavez fought Oscar Dela Hoya on two occasions, with Dela Hoya walking away the victor in each case. In the first fight, a gash over Chavez’ eye prompted officials to end the fight in the 4th round although Chavez doesn’t count it as a justifiable defeat as the injury sustained had occurred in previous training and reopened during the fight. The exorbitant amount of blood made the referee insist on the call although Chavez wanted to continue. In the eventual rematch, two years following, Chavez surrendered his Light Welterweight title to Dela Hoya. Chavez bore the defeat with dignity seeing that his time in the ring was perhaps growing to a close. It would soon be time to pass the torch to younger boxers like Dela Hoya as at that point, Chavez was approaching 40.
Chavez continued to fight until 2005 when he was 43 years old after he suffered a loss to a young unknown fighter named Grover Wiley, a defeat which was avenged by his son only two years later. After retirement, Chavez gave in to tendencies to over indulge in drugs and alcohol and completed a few stints in rehab before mastering his addictions and moving forward into better health. At 53 years of age, he supports his sons in their careers, works as an analyst for ESPN and commutes back and forth to Mexico to tend to his ventures south of the border.
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