Yesterday we got into a little bit of historical fantasy boxing talk with a Rocky Marciano vs Mike Tyson dream fight at heavyweight — well, to some a dream fight, to others a despicable mismatch that should have me sent to federal prison, a serious matter, a crime.
So here’s something that wouldn’t be a physical matchup, featuring a couple of very famous fighters, from close enough eras (their careers even overlapped for a while, though at quite different stages, one on the way up, the other on the way out).
130 pounds, 12 rounds. “Pretty Boy” Floyd and Mexico’s favorite fighting son.
Floyd Mayweather vs Julio Cesar Chavez
To be clear, we’re talking Floyd Mayweather Jr, which he hasn’t gone by in many years despite BoxRec’s insistence on using the “Jr,” and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, which he didn’t have to go by until his goofy son got famous.
And to be clear again, we’re talking about these guys at junior lightweight (130 pounds), at their best, prime versus prime, peak form versus peak form.
I saw the other day a comment on Twitter from a random person, and the joke made me laugh, answering a DAZN (I think it was) meme about Fighter A having to knock out Fighter B, related to your birthday, etc., and if they could do it, you get to eat your cake. Lots of that going around. Mayweather was the choice for one month, and someone said that anyone born in that month wasn’t getting any cake.
But that’s the Mayweather north of 140, maybe even north of 135 really. Before Floyd jumped to welterweight for the most famous and financially successful run of his career, he wasn’t just skilled, he was totally dominating guys and either stopping or making opponents just give it up a lot of the time. Back in 2001, for instance, he met fellow unbeaten young star Diego Corrales. A lot of people thought “Chico” had a good shot going into that fight. Mayweather (career record of 50-0, 27 KO) decimated him.
130 was also the division where he won his first world title, dominating a really good veteran in Genaro Hernandez in 1998. All in all, Mayweather went 10-0 (7 KO) in title fights at 130 between 1998 and 2001, and overall before he moved up to lightweight in 2002, Mayweather was 27-0 (20 KO). 74 percent of his stoppage wins over his entire career came at this weight.
Then there’s Chavez (career record of 107-6-2, 85 KO). The Mexican legend turned pro in 1980, and won his first world title in 1984 at 130 pounds, stopping Mario Martinez in eight rounds. His second defense of that title in 1985 was actually against Floyd’s uncle, the late Roger Mayweather. Chavez stopped him in the second, having lost the first round. (The two also met at 140 pounds in 1989, with Chavez stopping Roger after 10 rounds.)
Roger had deep respect for Julio. He told The Ring that Chavez had the best chin of anyone he ever faced, and he placed him behind only Pernell Whitaker as the overall best fighter he ever faced.
As far as Mayweather’s 50-0 record, Chavez famously built his record to 87-0 before his incredibly controversial 1993 draw with Pernell Whitaker, and he was 89-0-1 before he suffered his first official defeat against Frankie Randall in 1994.
For what it’s worth, in a 2015 interview with Boxing Insider’s Francisco Martinez, Chavez didn’t express much admiration for Floyd’s style, though he did admit it would have been a difficult fight:
“I would have beat him and let me tell you why. I was a fighter that attacked and forced his opponents to fight. I didn’t give them space. I would have forced him to fight. I would have beat on him. Hit him to the body, to the head and I’m sure that before the end of the 12th round I would have knocked him out.”
This could be an incredible bull vs matador fight, the legendary chin and pressure of Chavez against the incredible skills and speed of Mayweather.
So who wins?
Who wins, Mayweather or Chavez?
This poll is closed
Julio Cesar Chavez