Tuesday, October 03, 2017
Two Boxing Legends: Julio Cesar Chavez and Roberto Duran
By Randy De La O
Julio Cesar Chavez on the left, Roberto Duran on the right. Two bona fide Latin Legends in boxing but so much more than that. Two of boxing's finest that would have rose to greatness in any generation.
They never fought each other; age wise, weight wise and otherwise, the timing was all wrong. Chavez' star was rising as Duran was winding down his own career (though he did fight longer than he should have). together, they have a combined total of 234 fights.
In many ways they were made for each other. Both were at their absolute best when facing an opponent that wanted to fight. They would have no trouble finding each other.
If only there really was a mythical and mystical pound for pound Netherland where all the greats could meet and face each other in their natural prime and at their best weight without losing anything in the process. Instead, we are left to wonder.
Had they fought I'm convinced that it would have been Duran's hand that would be raised in victory. At his peak, Chavez was near impossible to knock out. If I remember correctly he was born with an abnormally thick skull. A curse for his opponent but a blessing for Chavez. I don't believe Duran could knock out a prime Chavez. With respect to Chavez, I think Duran had the better overall arsenal. Neither man was easy to hit but Duran mastered the defensive nuances better than Chavez.
Duran was an underrated but masterful counter puncher and I think this would be the key to a win over Chavez. Duran had his own left hook but Chavez had one of the great left hook in boxing period, what has generally become known as the "Mexican Left hook". Still, as Duran has proven throughout his career, he can take it.
In his later, years after dominating the lightweight division for seven years, Duran moved up to take the welterweight title from Sugar Ray Leonard, the Jr. Middleweight title from Davey Moore, and the middleweight title from Iran Barkley, as well as many other middleweights including a better than expected close loss to Marvin Hagler. He handled the weight gain much better than Chavez did.
Chavez captured the Super featherweight, lightweight and super lightweight divisions and was one of the most exciting fighters of his era. He beat the best of his era, including, Hector Camacho and Meldrick Taylor (a clear cut victory as far as I'm concerned). Chavez fought to a highly controversial draw against Pernell Whitakerfor the welterweight title. (He lost). He moved up one weight class to many.
I always had a house full of friends and family when these two fought. They gave us their all and the gave us our money's worth! It pleases me to see both of them enjoying their retirement.