MEXICO and Puerto Rico, powerhouses of the fighting game, have long been rivals in boxing and their competition has seen fights including Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez and Felix Trinidad.
Cotto and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez are set to resume the hostilities on Saturday [November 21] in what could be one of the biggest fights to date between combatants from the two boxing hotbeds.
To most observers, the rivalry began in 1981 when ferocious super-bantamweight champion Wilfredo Gomez, of Puerto Rico, moved up to challenge featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez.
Before their fight, Gomez said: “Standing or dead, but never on my knees.”
Gomez had previously faced Mexico’s Carlos Zarate, but his fight with Sanchez was huge. In the pre-fight comments and the devastating blows they exchanged in the ring, the pair ignited a fierce level of competition between their native countries which still burns brightly today.
However, the rivalry had historical foundations before the epic clash between Sanchez and Gomez.
Puerto Rico’s first two world champions beat Mexican fighters to win their belts. In 1934, Sixto Escobar became Puerto Rico’s first world champion when he scored a ninth-round knockout of legendary Mexican Rodolfo Casanova to win the world bantamweight crown.
Carlos Ortiz followed that up in 1960 when he knocked out Mexico’s Raymundo Torres in the 10th round of their 1960 light-welterweight fight.
Thankfully, there is no real bad blood between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans outside the ropes, but some of boxing’s most memorable nights have occurred when they collide in the ring.
We’ve listed ten of the best Mexico v Puerto Rico fights in recent history. Click below to read on.
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