Ruben Olivares is a two-time bantamweight champion and featherweight titleholder.
Nicknamed “Rockabye” for his vicious hitting power, is arguably the greatest bantamweight ever and I am proclaiming him to be the greatest Mexican fighter of all time.
So why do I declare such blasphemy and rank him higher than Chavez?
Because the era in which Olivares fought in was utterly and absurdly talented, from about 1965 to 1975, the world stood witness to the greatest crop of bantamweights ever gathered under one happening.
And Olivares proved himself to be the best of them all.
His record stands at a sublime 89-13-3. But under a microscope you can see that 11 of those losses came, not only at the tail end of his career, but also above his optimum weight of 118 pounds.
So in the most dangerous bantamweight division of all time, Olivares went 69-2-1. Let that number sink in.
As for those two losses: One came against Chucho Castillo who Olivares won his series with, 2-1, and the other in opposition to Rafael Herrera which would be Olivares’ last fight at bantamweight as he could no longer safely make the 118-pound limit, and that severely affected him during their fight.
Words can hardly do a stretch of dominance and consistency over such a ridiculously stacked weight class justice.
So here’s letting Olivares’ résumé do the talking for itself.
Salvatore Burruni, Octavio Gomez, Joe Medal, Kazuyoshi Kanazawa (two times), Takao Sakurai, Alan Rudkin, Chucho Castillo (two times), Efren Torres, Kid Pascualito, the murderous puncher Jesus Pimentel and lifted the WBC and WBA bantamweight titles from the excellent Lionel Rose.
Olivares’ two wins over Castillo are already greater than anyone Chavez has defeated.
And for what it’s worth, Olivares was showcasing the, pound-for-pound, most devastating, most efficient and just plain old best left hook in boxing history—and that includes Joe Frazier.
Moreover, in 1974 “El Púas” jumped what most experts agree on as the most difficult weight-class jump in sports, from 118 pounds up to 126. And with Ernesto Marcel’s abrupt retirement and Olivares’ defeat of Art Hafey, some even found Olivares to be the very best featherweight in the world before losing to Alexis Arguello.
I would've ranked Olivares No. 1 for his bantamweight run, alone. So his featherweight credentials all but close the case for me.