History | Mar 17 2016

On This Day: Meldrick Taylor two seconds from beating Julio Cesar Chavez

Paul Wheeler reflects on Julio Cesar Chavez vs Meldrick Taylor and one of the most controversial boxing finishes in history
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
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IN what was the most eagerly anticipated fight in boxing at the time, undefeated light-welterweights Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor met in a unification bout that came to be remembered for one of the most controversial endings in history on March 17, 1990.

Pound-for-pound star Chavez was made to look extraordinarily slow by Olympic champion Taylor in the first half of the fight. The speedy Philadelphian picked his opponent off with smart jabs in the early rounds, forcing the Mexican to up his tempo in the fourth. Taylor showed his versatility in the fifth by outworking Chavez on the inside.

There was a blistering sequence of action in round nine when Taylor rocked Chavez with two huge left hooks but the Culiacan man fired back with a neat three-shot combination followed by two right crosses. In a thrilling 10th, the rivals slammed away at close quarters. Taylor looked fresh in the 11th, catching “JC” with a solid right on the ropes.