History | Jul 12 2018

On This Day: Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez is born

John Dennen pays tribute to Julio Cesar Chavez, perhaps the greatest ever Mexican on July 12, his 54th birthday
Julio Cesar Chavez
Chris Farina/Top Rank

THE definition of what a Mexican fighter ought to be. Rugged, relentless, a man who would never back down, Julio Cesar Chavez became a hero to boxing fans with his body punching, grit and ferocious aggression.

His 1990 unification battle with Meldrick Taylor made him a legend. By that stage Chavez, raised in Culiacan, Sinaloa, had been a champion for years. He won his first title at super-featherweight but beating Edwin Rosario in an outdoor arena at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1987, with Chavez, in merciless mood, breaking him down to take the WBA’s lightweight crown confirmed his star power. He added the WBC version to his collection when he defeated veteran Jose Luis Ramirez.

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