They both may have been retired for years, they may both be many years past their prime, but Mexican legends Julio Cesar Chavez and Jorge Arce proved on Saturday night that they can still pull in a big crowd, and they can still fight. For three exciting rounds, anyway.
Chavez, aged 57 and retired since 2005, fought Arce, 40 years of age and retired since 2014, in an exhibition rematch on Saturday night in Hermosilio, Mexico, with over 10,000 fans showing up. And though the two former champions wore head-guards, the action was pretty hot. In fact, both men appear to be in quite fantastic shape considering their age.
Back in November, Chavez and Arce boxed a three-round exhibition, the action literally having the fans on their feet screaming for more. And on Saturday, the former multi-weight champions gave fans a second slice of action; action that could be described as better than the stuff you see in some actual fights, from much younger fighters.
All in a good cause, raising cash for charity, the Chavez-Arce three-rounder is well worth catching on YouTube. Seeing how decent Chavez looked on Saturday makes one wonder how he actually lost to Grover Wiley back in September of 2005, the corner retirement defeat being the final pro fight in the long and distinguished career of “El Gran Campeon.”
After trading shots with Arce for nine spirited minutes, with no apparent pulling of punches on either side, Chavez spoke of engaging in further exhibitions, with Arce once again and with Oscar De La Hoya. Chavez lost twice to De La Hoya back in the 1990s, but who “wins” an exhibition if the two fight again this year?
You can expect another massive and passionate crowd turning up to find out if the two greats do agree to meet in the ring again all these years later. Chavez is also interested in boxing an exhibition with Erik Morales. These old dudes, they’ve still got it! The term living legend is often overused in boxing, but it sure applies to Julio Cesar Chavez, 107-6-2(85).