The Lives Of Great Men: Julio Cesar Chavez, El Gran Campeon De Mexico

John Louie RamosSenior Writer IFebruary 2, 2009

Mexico is blessed to have great fighters, arguably their greatest champion, Julio Cesar Chavez, dubbed as "el gran campeon de Mexico" or simply "JC superstar."

He was a busy fighter with an average bout of 12 times per year. The most charismatic with millions of supporters not only in Mexico and U.S. but even to countries such as Puerto Rico, Philippines, Japan, China, and Argentina to name a few.

Chavez was born on Ciudad Obregon, Mexico and grew up in an abandoned railroad car with his five sisters and four brothers.

He started boxing at a young age of 16 and made his professional debut knocking out Andres Felix. From then on he cruised to a record of 44-0 and earned his first title shot for the vacant WBC Super featherweight Championship against Mario Martinez although Martinez is highly favored to win. Chavez made short work, knocking out Martinez in the eight round.

After defending his title for 10 times in a course of three years, winning against marquee names such as Roger Mayweather, Rocky Lockridge and Juan Laporte, Chavez decided to move up in weight and to test the lightweight waters in a fight against the WBA Champion Edwin Rosario.

Chavez the patriot he is, was angered by Rosario's insult of Mexico that he inflicted a relentless beating winning via technical knockout in the 11th round. The next year he unified the WBC and WBA Championship before moving up in the super lightweight division.

He fought the WBC Champion Mayweather in a rematch still the results were the same as Mayweather retired in his corner at the end of the 10th round. After that he fought the undefeated IBF Champion Meldrick Taylor in a controversial fight that was considered as the fight of the decade (1990s).

Taylor won the early rounds but Chavez rallied in the later rounds scoring a knockdown with 16 seconds left. Taylor beat the count but was unable to respond to the referee's question as a result the referee stopped the fight with only two seconds remaining.

After unifying the belts, Chavez engaged himself in a series of busy title defenses that include fights with Hector "Macho" Camacho, Angel Hernandez, and Greg Haugen.

He again moved a division higher, now fighting at welterweight. He challenge the WBC Champion at that time, Pernell Whitaker apparently Whitaker seemed to outbox Chavez, the decision was a controversial draw.

After being undefeated for his first 91 fights, Chavez suffered his first career loss against Frank Randall via 12 round split decision.

The controversial nature of the fight resulted in an immediate fiercely contested rematch in which Chavez won.

Soon after, he wins a rematch against Taylor but eventually he would meet his match, the younger Oscar De La Hoya.

De La Hoya proved to be tougher than expected as he defeated Chavez twice. In what I think and many others think was the end of Chavez.

Furthermore he still insist to fight staging a series of farewell fights against Willy Wise, Kostya Tszyu and a third match with Randall.

He was often criticize for fighting so-called "tomato cans" and "Tijuana taxi drivers" but with more than 100 wins under his belt, Chavez will always be remembered as the best fighter to ever hail from Mexico.

Today, he is busy in training his son, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. He is also extending himself to the Youth of East L.A. through the works of his Julio Cesar Chavez Foundation.

Love him or hate him, criticize him or praise him. He'll always be the Great Mexican Champion.