When asked who would win his fight against Pernell Whitaker, JC Chávez’s response was “The Americans believe that I’m going to lose. And the Mexicans know that I’m going to win.”
This proclamation encapsulated Chávez’s enduring love for Mexico and Mexicans’ deep faith in him. Considered one of the greatest fighters of all time, Chávez’s 25-year career yielded an astonishing record of 107 wins, 2 draws, and 86 knockouts. Despite such extraordinary personal achievements, he never considered himself alone in the ring.
Julio César Chávez grew up in an abandoned railroad car in Sonora, Mexico with his five sisters and four brothers. Living in poverty meant boxing wasn’t a sport, it was a matter of survival. At the age of 16, he began to pursue a professional career to help provide for his family. He went on to become one of the greatest fighters of his generation as a multiple-time world champion in three weight divisions. Each conquest Chávez had along the way embodied the national hope of his countrymen and the dignity of the 130,000+ boxing fans, many of whom sacrificed and saved just to be able to pay to see him fight live. The latter comprised the largest crowds in boxing history during Chávez’s active years in the 90s.
During National Hispanic Heritage Month we celebrate Chávez as both a Mexican-American fighter and national hero. He didn’t merely represent his brothers and sisters from Mexico. He was them. Every time he entered the ring. Their struggle, their sacrifices, and their pride in him gave his fights their purpose and inspired his record-breaking success for more than two decades.
Officially licensed by Julio César Chávez.
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