History | Feb 20 2019

On This Day: All Hail Cesar! Magnificent Julio Cesar Chavez thrills record crowd

Mexico’s Aztec Stadium became a modern day coliseum as a world record 132,247 crowd turned out baying for Greg Haugen’s blood when he faced their idol Julio Cesar Chavez, writes Sam Corbishley
julio cesar chavez
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BEFORE even stepping into the ring with fearsome WBC light-welterweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez on February 20, 1993, Greg Haugen had already given the expected record attendance a reason to hate him – by claiming the champion had only reached his record of 84-0 by fighting ‘Tijuana taxi drivers’ and even going so far as to suggest that there were not even 130,000 Mexicans who could afford a ticket to the fight. He said: “Look at his first 50 fights. If you recognise those names, you are a boxing historian. They’re nothing but palookas. Am I supposed to be scared?”

The 32-year-old challenger – a former IBF lightweight and WBO light-welterweight boss – had built his gritty reputation through a series of ‘Tough Guy’ contests in the bars of Anchorage, Alaska, and his claims of getting arrested and thrown out of school every weekend as a teenager.

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