3 More Rounds

Julio Cesar Chavez Sr boxes in exhibition bout

Chavez can still throw a nasty left hook to the body

Chavez can still throw a nasty left hook to the body

As a kid growing up watching boxing, there was only one fighter that I made sure to watch each and every single time out – Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., aka “El Gran Campeon Mexicano.”

Chavez Sr. (107-6-2, 86 KOs) is now a Hall of Famer, and though his fighting days have been over since 2005, he still commands the adulation of millions of fight fans, from Mexico and around the world.

Over the weekend, Chavez took part in a four-round exhibition bout in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, as the state government paid tribute to him as he laid down the first stone in the new Hall of Boxing.

The 52-year old delighted the crowd of approximately 3000 at the Multipurpose Center, who attended the exhibition by donating a toy that would be delivered to poor children in the city.

“I’m too old, but I still have a little left,” joked Chavez after the exhibition. “I wanted to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the toy drive for underprivileged children, which is the reason for getting back in the ring after nearly 10 years. I got tired and my reflexes are gone, but I gladly took the risk for the benefit of the children,” added Chavez.

Though haven gotten in the ring with the director of the program, Vicente Sagrestano, it was still a joy to see Chavez dig in with his vaunted left hooks to the body. Even at this age, it’s a thing of beauty to see him unload with a left hook upstairs, followed by a left to the body – vintage Chavez.  As I watched him deliver the double-left hook combo, I couldn’t help but smile as I remembered how fun it was to watch him fight. It also made me appreciate those hooks to the body, which don’t come by as often in many of today’s fights. Sure there are fighters who go to the body, but nothing like Chavez in his hey-day.

After watching his career unfold and ultimately end, it actually wasn’t until his unanimous decision win over Ivan Robinson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (as part of his farewell tour), that I got to see him fight in person.  That night, he floored and dominated Robinson, while punishing him with left hooks to the liver. It was a thing of beauty even though he was way past his prime. This past Saturday was a cool little remembrance of how devastating he used to be.

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