Does Oscar De La Hoya Give Julio Cesar Chavez A Run For His Money?

By James Slater - 01/22/2022 - Comments

There has been made, as fight fans may be aware, a documentary on the 1996 battle between Mexican legends Julio Cesar Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya: “La Guerra Civil” to premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Apparently, De La Hoya – who tore up an already cut Chavez and got the stoppage win inside four disappointing rounds in the fight dubbed “Ultimate Glory” – wanted to make a film on the fight for some time and is the producer of the documentary.

The real story pertaining to this particular ring rivalry is not the two fights De La Hoya and Chavez had (Oscar, at his peak, decisively beat a past his best Chavez on both occasions) – it is the fact that so many Mexican fight fans were not ready to accept De La Hoya, a Mexican-American, as a “real” Mexican warrior.

You can still ask yourself if De La Hoya has ever been as fully accepted by the passionate Mexican fans the way “real Mexican” legends such as Chavez have.

The film should be a good watch, an interesting view, but it might seem a little odd to some that such a big production has been made on a fight that was really no fight at all. But Chavez and De La Hoya both proved their greatness in countless other ring victories.

But who was the greater overall fighter: Chavez or De La Hoya? Is this even a question?

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Indeed, such a question might be seen as an insult. Chavez was and is by far the greater fighter, so many people will undoubtedly insist. And Chavez – a champion at three weights, who exited with an amazing 107-6-2(85) record – is a genuine living legend. But De La Hoya – who won major belts at six weights and walked away with a hugely impressive 39-6(30) record – was special himself.

To many people, Chavez’ position as the greatest Mexican fighter ever will never go anywhere. Ever. Chavez fought and defeated excellent fighters such as Mario Martinez, Ruben Castillo, Roger Mayweather, Rocky Lockridge, Juan LaPorte, Edwin Rosario, Rafael “Bazooka” Limon, Jose Luis Ramirez, Meldrick Taylor, and Hector Camacho.

Has De La Hoya got anything on his resume that gives him any hope of equalling, or even topping, Chavez’ accomplishments?

De La Hoya met and defeated the following collection of superb fighters, Jorge Paez, John John Molina, Rafael Ruelas, Genaro Hernandez, Jesse James Leija, Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, Ike Quartey, Felix Trinidad (forget the official tale of the judges, this was a robbery), Arturo Gatti, Fernando Vargas, and Ricardo Mayorga.

Not too shabby. Oh, and De La Hoya beat Chavez. Twice.

But has De La Hoya got ANY shot at being ranked, by anyone, as a greater fighter than Chavez? Probably not. In fact, is it a dumb question to even ask; to question who was the supreme fighter out of these two?

Both Chavez and De La Hoya were greats fighters; both all-time greats you could argue (no argument needed in Chavez’ case). I wonder how the new film portrays these two special fighters who were once such heated rivals.