Julio Cesar Chavez!
A multiple-time world champion in three weight divisions, Chávez was listed by The Ring magazine as the world’s best boxer, pound for pound, from 1990 to 1993. During his career he held the WBC super featherweight title from 1984 to 1987, the WBA and WBC lightweight titles between 1987 and 1989, the WBC light welterweight title twice between 1989 and 1996, and the IBF light welterweight title from 1990 to 1991. He also held the Ring magazine and lineal lightweight titles from 1988 to 1989, and the lineal light welterweight title twice between 1990 and 1996. Chávez was named Fighter of the Year for 1987 and 1990 by the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring respectively.
Chávez holds records for the most total successful defenses of world titles (27, shared with Omar Narváez), most title fight victories and fighters beaten for the title (both at 31), and most title fights (37); he has the second most title defenses won by knockout (21, after Joe Louis with 23). His fight record was 89 wins, 0 losses, and 1 draw before his first professional loss to Frankie Randall in 1994, before which he had an 87-fight win streak until his draw with Pernell Whitaker in 1993. Chávez’s 1993 win over Greg Haugen at the Estadio Azteca set the record for the largest attendance for an outdoor boxing match: 136,274.
He is ranked as the 17th best boxer of all time, pound for pound, by BoxRec, #24 on ESPN‘s list of “50 Greatest Boxers of All Time”, and 18th on The Ring’s “80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years”. In 2010 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for the Class of 2011. He is the father of current boxers Omar Chávez and former WBC 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, he stated: “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.” 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. In his 12th fight, on March 4, 1980, Chávez faced Miguel Ruiz in Culiacán, Sinaloa. At the end of the first round, Chavez landed a blow that knocked Ruiz out. Delivered as the bell sounded, the blow was 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.
Chavez won his first two bouts in 1999 before losing to then 32-year-old Willy Wise via 10 round unanimous decision. In 2000, at the age of 38, Chávez challenged Light Welterweight Champion Kostya Tszyu. Chavez lost the bout via 6th-round TKO. After a 2001 victory over Terry Thomas in Ciudad Juárez, 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, Mexico.
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 Center (this fight was televised by Showtime Championship Boxing).
On September 17, 2005, at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, Chávez suffered a TKO loss to until then little-known Grover Wiley in the 115th bout of his career, retiring in his corner before the start of the 5th round, after injuring his right hand. After the bout, Chávez told his promoter, Bob Arum, that this time he was definitely retiring from boxing. His defeat was avenged two years later by his son, Julio César Chávez, Jr., who knocked Wiley out in the third round of their fight.