Mexico Vs. Puerto Rico, a long and rich boxing rivalry, gave us an especially grudge-filled match on this day back in 1992. The great Julio Cesar Chavez, for many THE finest Mexican fighter ever, met the flashy, controversial and cocksure Hector Camacho. The fight had been spoken of for some time, and Chavez, a no-nonsense warrior of the fiercest kind, wanted so badly to make “Macho” pay for all his rash-talking.
It was a sold-out crowd at The Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas that awaited Camacho’s destruction. The packed house was full of sombreros, passionate Mexican fans and electricity. In no way could Chavez, hero to an entire country, afford to let these fans down. Yet though Chavez dealt out a thorough beating over 12 hard rounds, Camacho didn’t fall. Camacho hung tough, living up to his nickname.
Chavez was relentless from the start, looking to hunt Camacho down, to pin him in a corner or on the ropes and work him over. To head and body, Chavez pounded away. The crowd roared its approval as Chavez dug in and went to work. Camacho was simply unable to escape, to keep Chavez off him. “The pressure he put on me was amazing,” Camacho said in defeat.
Chavez tortured Camcho’s ribs, busted up his face and dominated almost every minute of every round – one judge having the fight a shut-out at 120-108 at the end – yet Camacho won himself some fans with the manner in which he hung tough, refusing to either fall or quit. His left eye swollen horribly by the later rounds, Camacho, his hands still swift, his legs gone, was forced to slug it out with Chavez.
The Puerto Rican, who had once threatened true greatness himself, was taking a beating yet he was showing real heart. Chavez was relishing the opportunity to hurt his rival. Amazingly, Camacho so impressed Chavez with his sheer effort and refusal to give in, that “J.C Superstar” said after winning how Camacho deserved a rematch. It never happened. No way would a second fight sell, so much of a drubbing had the first fight been.
Chavez was an incredible 82-0 after the hammering, while Camacho was now 40-2 (his only other loss coming on points against Greg Haugen). Camacho had shown real resilience against Chavez and it’s worth pointing out how “Macho” was never once stopped in his entire pro career.
If the prime Chavez couldn’t get Camacho out of there after doing what he did to him on this day 28 years ago, it’s no wonder Camacho stuck around to hear the final bell in all of his fights.