On This Day: Chavez Stops Mayweather (Again)

By James Slater - 05/13/2023 - Comments

For plenty of fight fans, a Dream Fight that is easily fantasised over is one between Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez and the 50-0 man himself, Floyd Mayweather. This one would have been utterly fascinating, at either 130, 135 or 140 pounds. We can but dream, however.

In the real world, Chavez fought “Money’s” uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather. Twice. The first fight took place in the summer of 1985, at 130 pounds. Chavez scored a quick and emphatic second round stoppage win. Nobody had any reason to believe the two would ever meet again. Yet they did, with Chavez-Mayweather II taking place on this day, May 13, back in 1989.

Mayweather had regrouped after the loss to the Mexican great, while “J.C Superstar” had continued his march to greatness. “Black Mamba” Mayweather was now 34-5 and he was the reigning WBC light-welterweight champ. Not only that, but Roger had earned himself another nickname, that of “The Mexican Assassin,” this due to the fact that he had, quite recently, defeated six Mexican fighters.

The rematch was suddenly appealing to the 62-0 Chavez, who would, with a win, become a three-weight champion. The return was set for the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California, and this time a different fight ensued. A far more competitive fight.

Mayweather, knowing up close and personal how dangerous, how heavy-handed Chavez was, adopted fresh tactics, tactics that saw him box and move at distance, Roger using plenty of lateral movement, his jabs plentiful. Mayweather, with his fast hands, was managing to tag Chavez with sharp blows and, by the fourth, this was angering Chavez, who gave his rival a cold-eyed stare. Also, Mayweather had had a point deducted for a low blow. But the fight, one Chavez may well have thought would have been over with by now, was turning into a very good one.

By the middle rounds, Chavez, his famed body work again evident, was tiring his man out. Mayweather was holding more, although he was still tossing out some good counters. The fight now inside stuff, Chavez was fighting HIS fight. The end was somewhat strange. Mayweather boxed well in round ten, even doing an “Ali Shuffle,” his movement again serving him well. Yet after the session, Mayweather told his corner he was done, that he could not go on.

Chavez had again stopped Mayweather, yet this time he’d had to work hard for the win. At the time of the corner retirement, Chavez led on all three cards, 99-90, 98-90, 98-90, yet Mayweather had made some of the rounds close and he had been able to frustrate Chavez at times (HBO’s Harold Lederman had the fight all even after nine.)

Now, how would Chavez have done against “Money” Mayweather? That’s a fight, a Dream Fight, that inspires plenty of debate!

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