Julio César Chávez: Things You Need To Know About "The Caesar of Boxing"

It’s time for another of our boxer profiles, taking a look at some of the most legendary fighters in history. This time we’re going up close and personal with "The Caesar of Boxing”, Julio César Chávez. With one of the most impressive winning streaks in the history of professional boxing, and multiple world championships across various weight classes under his belt, he’s rightly celebrated as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Here’s four of our favourite facts about this sporting titan. 

He Grew Up in An Abandoned Railroad Carriage

Julio César Chávez was born on 12th July 1962 into a poor family in Sonora, Mexico. With Chávez’s father working for the local railroad company, they took up residence inside an abandoned train carriage; their only option to avoid homelessness.

Chávez was spurred on from his impoverished youth, and intentionally took up boxing with the aim of earning money to support his family. He later told of his motivations for becoming a boxer, "I saw my Mom working, ironing, and washing people's clothes, and I promised her I would give her a house someday, and she would never have that job again."

Chavez did buy that house for his mother, and continues to support his family to this day. A different kind of achievement to his fighting wins, but a significant one nonetheless."

He Almost Had A Much Smaller Winning Streak

Chávez started boxing professionally in 1980 at the age of 17. Most professional boxers who become big do so because they have a long-standing unbeaten streak of winning matches, but Chávez’s streak was almost abruptly curtailed during only his twelfth fight.

In a battle with Miguel Ruiz, Chávez dealt a heavy blow that knocked out his competitor. But it was a photo finish, as the KO happened just as the bell sounded - an act that led to Chávez’s disqualification from the fight and with Ruiz declared the winner.

The next day, Chávez’s manager, Ramón Felix protested to the Mexican boxing commission that the declaration was misjudged, and in a decision that changed the course of his career, the result was changed and Chávez was hailed as the victor.

Julio César Chávez went on to win an incredible 89 fights in a row, one of the longest winning streaks in history.

He Holds The Record For The Largest Attendance At An Outdoor Boxing Match

136,274 people. That’s how many attended Chávez’s 1993 tussle with American Greg Haugen, the most for any outdoor match in history.

Before the fight, to be held in Chávez’s native Mexico, Haugen riled up the local population with derogatory remarks including his assertion that “there aren't 130,000 Mexicans who can afford tickets”. In the end, 6,274 more than that showed up, almost all of them to give their backing to their local hero. Chávez hit back, saying “I am going to give him the worst beating of his life; I am going to make him swallow the words that came out of his dirty mouth."

Haugen certainly did swallow his words, as he lost in a TKO victory for Chávez before a jubilant Mexico City crowd.

He Rode in The Pope’s Car To Meet The President of Mexico

In September 1992, the stage was set for Chávez to face Héctor “Macho” Camacho, one of Puerto Rico’s most iconic fighters and the WBO Light Welterweight Champion. 

This highly anticipated bout, with two South American titans battling it out, captured the hearts and minds of both countries, with the Mexican people putting their all behind Chávez.

In the end, Chávez dominated Camacho, with a unanimous decision victory and Chávez decisively winning every round with scores of 117–111, 119-110 and 120-107. 

The President of Mexico at the time, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, gave Chávez a hero’s welcome to celebrate his return home from the fight, sending the special car solely reserved for the Pope to transport him to the President’s house. 

It goes without saying, very few boxers get that kind of treatment. 

“The Great Mexican Champion"

With 107 wins and only 6 losses, it’s no surprise Julio César Chávez is regarded as one of the greatest boxers in Mexican history.

Comfortably retired, and a national hero, determined to be unbeatable across multiple weight classes, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011.  

Now, it’s your turn. Make your own history with our professional boxing equipment, including gloves, training gear and more. Discover the full range on our site.