JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ vs ÓSCAR DE LA HOYA
Here we have a fantasy fight that actually happened in real life, and not once but twice. As we know, De la Hoya won both fights. In the first fight, Chávez was stopped but a cut and he alleged it was just an injury from training that had reopened. Two years later, De la Hoya beat Chávez again.
Now, looks to me like Chávez (34 and 36 in his fights against Óscar) was past his prime and over his best weight when he took on the Golden Boy. So, what do you think it would happen if we pit a prime, slightly enlarged version of Chávez against the best De la Hoya?
Like in many other matchups, I will only give some quick tips on the fight, since I haven't watched them fight enough to make a serious call or make a serious breakdown. It's up to you guys to add anything important and leave your opinions on the fight.
Quick info about Julio César Chávez
- At 5' 7 1/2" tall, and with a 66 1/2", I don't think he enjoyed many size advantages during his career. Besides that, what was prime JCC´s weight? Was it super featherweight? Was it lightweight? I'm going to take 135 as a reference point.
- Chávez was a pressure fighter with a great heart, and one of his trademarks is that he never stopped coming.
- Defensively, I can't judge him but I wouldn't expect him to be an specially remarkable defensive fighter. What he had, though, is an all time great chin.
- He definitely had power as his KO ratio tells us, and despite he fought many many tens of bums, I think we can agree that his body shots were dangerous and opened many windows for his equally dangerous upstairs blows.
- Considered one of the best ever when in stalking mode, he definitely knew how to cut the ring and get to his opponents, and he never, ever, stopped trying.
Quick info about Óscar de la Hoya
- At 5' 10 1/2" and with a reach of 73", de la Hoya looks to me like he had, at some point, the body of an average middleweight. Still, middleweight wasn't probably his best weight. Was it 154? I would like someone to clear that up for me. In any case, I expect he was a big guy when fighting at 140 or 147, and still a good sized one at 154.
- I find it difficult to analyze de la Hoya's style, to be honest. It looks to me like he was a good all around fighter. The kind of fighter with good speed, good power, good chin, good everything, basically, so I will leave this blank so someone can help me out identifying Óscar's best individual assets.
- What I know, is Óscar fought basically the complete murderer's row for several weights, fighting and defeating hall of famers and greats through his career. This tells us he can and will adapt, and he has the smarts to fight different fights at different weights vs different fighters.
- I really struggle to define Óscar as a boxer. I see him as a very experimented all around fighter with no glaring weaknesses or all time great strengths.
- It's very difficult to me to give edges in this one too. I think both have shown to be extremely experienced, durable and with a good heart.
- In the competition front, I think Óscar clearly fought the best fighters. I would as far as to say few fighters in history can show a resume like Oscar's. On the other hand, Chávez was very criticized for his choice of rivals, so this is definitely an Óscar one.
- While de la Hoya was very durable, I have to give the chin edge to Chávez, as far as I know, his chin was titanium-like.
- Power, speed, stamina... I'd say they are comparable in power, maybe de la Hoya was a bit faster? Maybe Chávez had a bit better stamina, since his relentless style definitively needed stamina to function.
- I'd also say Óscar is much more adaptable than Julio. Chávez looked to me like quite more one dimensional.
Setting up the fight:
So, in this case, we have two fighters that met in the ring, but we are having them meet again in a different situation. I'm picking welterweight as the meeting point. If you guys think Óscar improved after moving up from welterweight, you can just pick that prime DLH and shrink him back to WW.
For Chávez, we are picking 135-140 JCC and enlarging him a bit for him to fit WW too. Since Julio was never a really big fighter for the categories he fought in, we are keeping a size advantage for the fight. While not in the same degree as what happened in reality, I present DLH having a slight edge in both height and reach over Chávez (say, 1 or 2 inches each), but I consider them comparable in size and strength.
My own pick:
This one is, again, a very difficult one to pick. So difficult to me that I will make a pick just based on what I've read and heard, not to be taken really seriously. I think that if both were exactly the same size, I would give the edge to Chávez. With DLH still enjoying some slight physical advantages, just not at the same level than the ones he actually enjoyed, I see it closer.
Still, I trust a prime, young, and slightly enlarged Chávez to be too much for El Chico de Oro and somehow manage to beat him in an absolutely terrific war. I think Chávez was fierce and brutal and I like him to win this.
Please tell me what you think!