Chavez (left) battered Camacho (right) over 12 rounds. Photo from The Ring archive
Sometimes, a fighter’s record doesn’t tell the whole story. But then again, sometimes it does.
Julio Cesar Chavez and Hector Camacho combined for an astonishing 121-1 record, with Camacho owning the sole loss in one of his 41 fights to that day and Chavez being an impeccable 81-0 as they climbed through the ropes for the most iconic of all fights in the fabled Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry.
The excitement and the anticipation were at an all-time high for these two rival, boxing-crazy nations. Camacho, the flamboyant bilingual character with a flair for exuberant costumes and loquacious rants, against Chavez, the serious-as-cancer cold-staring assassin that established the hook to the body as Mexico’s national treasure, only to be compared to tequila, tacos and Mayan pyramids.
The mutual threats and taunts died out as the bell rang, and one of the finest exhibitions of boxing footwork began. Chavez, ever the stalker, and Camacho, a textbook leftie using perpetual motion to stay away from his foe’s most potent hands, gave a boxing clinic for the ages during the first few rounds. But then, Chavez moved the stick to high gear, and it was all over.
With a sense of urgency spurred by his intense national pride, Chavez ran roughshod over Camacho, reducing his face to a bloodied pulp and slowly working on his usual, gradual demolition job until Camacho had to limit himself to survive the night.
The shutout was demonstrated by the scorecards of 119-110, 120-107 and 117-110, as the bad blood between both men gave way to a mutual respect that would last a lifetime – and a fight that would live in the memory of every Mexican and Puerto Rican fan, forever.