The Greatest Mexican Champions
So many phenomenal fighters and fights have come out of the beautiful country of Mexico. A proud nation deeply passionate about it's culture, love of boxing and especially about it's own courageous fighters. I first wanted to try and create some type of formula to truly identify which fighters have meant the most to boxing from Mexico. Then I realized no algorithm or perfectly formulated mathematical equation can ever hope to capture the blood, sweat and tears of these fearless warriors and what they mean to their beloved country. So, I decide to go into another direction. Plus you can’t just solely focus on wins, losses and knockouts and say that is greatness. While don’t get me wrong that’s a huge part of measuring success in boxing. There is still so much more that makes these fighters truly special to millions of fight fans world wide.
[ image credit: DAZN ]
So, I’ve just decided to put together my own top five boxers from Mexico as more of a celebration of their amazing accomplishments in the ring during their lustrous careers in the sweet science. Here is my truly unapologetic, ultra biased as hell list of the Mexican fighters I’ve personally enjoyed watching the most over the years as a fight fan. #5. Marco Antonio Barrera What an absolute warrior. Marco Antonio Barrera is a three-division world champion and boasts an amazing record of [ 67W - 7L, 44KOs] How can I not include a fighter that was apart of one of the greatest boxing trilogies and rivalries in boxing history.
Barrera and Morales first faced off on February of 2000 and Barrera was on the wrong end of a split-decision in arguably the greatest fight this young century has been fortunate to witness. Morales had won the battle—but “The Baby Faced Assassin” was determined not to let him win the war. While Barrera would walk away the winner in their next two fights, winning the series 2-1 over Erik Morales.
Barrera however never tasted victory over another rival in his career the " Fighting Pride of the Philippines " Manny Pacquiao. Even after two valiant efforts Barrera lost to Manny Pacquiao never getting the victory unlike Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. Still my personal favorite Marco Antonio Barrera fight was him fighting Prince Naseem Hamed in a complete master class performance by Barrera in 2001. A must watch for any fight fan. Barrera was simply a warrior inside of the ring with a fighting style that was easy to root for whoever he laced the gloves up against. #4. Érik Morales To me no other fighter has every truly embodied “bad ass.” in the ring like Érik “El Terrible” Morales from Tijuana, Mexico. Érik “El Terrible” Morales had an impressive record of [ 52W - 9L, 36KOs] during his career.
He was absolutely relentless in the ring with a fire like intensity, determination and fury he unleashed on each and everyone of his opponents he faced. While Morales had countless battles with his countrymen, - including three classic fights with Marco Antonio Barrera - he never collided with Juan Manuel Marquez. Something I’ve always been extremely disappointed by, but Erik Morales still had so many other amazing fights and victories that it really didn't hurt his career. Amazing fights like an impressive victory over Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao in his prime. On March 19, 2005, as a huge betting underdog, Morales defeated then three-division world champion Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, by a unanimous decision. During the 12th round, Morales, was comfortably ahead on the scorecards, but still decided to brawl with the Filipino slugger, even turning southpaw during the process. In a post fight interview, HBO broadcaster Larry Merchant, asked Morales, "Why?" Morales replied by asking a question of his own, "Did you enjoy it? That's why." Érik Morales also has one of my all- time favorite quotes ever taking a shot at Juan Manual Marquez recently saying “I didn't need four opportunities to beat Pacquiao." - Érik “El Terrible” Morales Always the bad ass...
#3. Juan Manuel Marquez Even though I’m a huge Manny “ Pac-Man” Pacquiao fan I’ve always admired and loved watching Marquez box. One of the greatest counter punchers in boxing history. He’s truly a joy to watch in the ring. The great irony that Marquez’s career has come to over the years.
Marquez spent so many years chasing after the other two great Mexicans of his time (Morales and Barrera)—only managing to get his hands on a Barrera in 2007 who was past his best—and now sits comfortably above both of them when ranking the greatest Mexican fighters of all time on most media publications in their rankings including my own. So what has Marquez done to separate himself from his legendary countrymen? There’s his titles at featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight. Oh, and then there’s this punch that was heard around the world too. Still my all-time favorite fights with Juan Manuel Marquez was actually his two wars against Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz of Houston, TX. Both were amazing fights and Juan Manuel Marquez’s skills in the ring were truly on full display.
#2. Julio Cesar Chavez Also, known as “El Gran Campeón Mexicano ("The Great Mexican Champion" ).
Yes, Chavez is the Greatest Mexican Champion to many and its hard to argue with his record number of victories over his amazing career. Chavez had an unbelievable record of [ 107W - 6L, 86KOs]. I definitely have the highest level of respect for Chavez who is an absolute icon. One can even go as far as saying he is a deity (of sorts) in Mexico. The way he is revered and beloved by so many in Mexico for his heroics in the ring. As, he definitely should.
He retired in 2005 ,but not before he won titles from super featherweight to light welterweight, exhibited some of the most ferocious body punching seen on a non-heavyweight ever witnessed in boxing and did so fighting across three decades, pulling in astronomical amounts of fans (over 130,000 that showed up to watch him fight Greg Haugen in 1993). A simply incredible scene and moment in boxing history. Chavez also, probably had the greatest chin in boxing history too. However, albeit he wasn’t padding his record early on his career as his harshest critics like to argue (myself included) , his best wins being over a core group of fighters like the late great, Roger “ Black Mamba” Mayweather (two times), Jose Luis Ramirez, Edwin Rosario, Hector Camacho and Meldrick Taylor ( my personal favorite) , the competition Chavez’s résumé is respectable, but it isn't composed of the level of quality opponents of the next man on my list. Yes, that’s right the [ active ] boxer that currently has the best resume in boxing today is my #1 on this list.
#1 Saul “Canelo” Alvarez The current biggest name in boxing has definitely had an impressive career. Canelo who currently has a record of [ 56W - 1L, 36 KOs ]
In the first 40 fights of his career, Alvarez hadn't really faced a name fighter that would resonate with the American casual boxing audience either. He finally got that big opportunity when he was featured on the under-card of Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s showdown with Miguel Cotto, clashing with three-division world champion and future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez made really easy work of Mosley, winning a lopsided unanimous decision to retain his WBC junior middleweight title for his first signature. Now forward several years, victories, world titles and millions and millions of dollars later Canelo continues to improve each and every time as a boxer. I really don’t think Canelo gets enough credit for his defense in the the ring. I know that fans have extremely high exceptions of their champions, but I’ve never understood the hate towards Canelo. But, that said I only focus on the performances in the ring. You can only fight the opponent in front of you.
Checkout out the list of victories and opponents listed below after his signature victory over “Sugar Shane” Mosley that truly catapulted his stardom in boxing and beyond. CANELO ALVAREZ CAREER FIGHT RESULTS Fight results Date
Canelo Alvarez def. Sergey Kovalev by 11th-round KO Nov. 2, 2019 Canelo Alvarez def. Daniel Jacobs by unanimous decision May 4, 2019 Canelo Alvarez def. Rocky Fielding by third-round TKO Dec. 15, 2018 Canelo Alvarez def. Gennadiy Golovkin by majority decision Sept. 15, 2018 Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, split draw Sept. 16, 2017 Canelo Alvarez def. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by unanimous decision May 6, 2017 Canelo Alvarez def. Liam Smith by ninth-round KO Sept. 17, 2016 Canelo Alvarez def. Amir Khan by sixth-round KO May 7, 2016 Canelo Alvarez def. Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision Nov. 21, 2015 Canelo Alvarez def. James Kirkland by third-round KO May 9, 2015 Canelo Alvarez def. Erislandy Lara by split decision July 12, 2014 Canelo Alvarez def. Alfredo Angulo by 10th-round TKO March 8, 2014 Floyd Mayweather def. Canelo Alvarez by majority decision Sept. 14, 2013 Canelo Alvarez def. Austin Trout by unanimous decision April 20, 2013 Canelo Alvarez def. Josesito Lopez by fifth-round TKO Sept. 15, 2012 Canelo Alvarez def. Shane Mosley by unanimous decision May 5, 2012 Now this is my list, but what does your list look like ? Checkout the “EnVivo!” Podcast Crew [ Manny Marrero, Hopper Dominguez along with the ultra talented Esmeralda Ferraro give their thoughts on these fighters and many, many more. We're going to try and talk about as many of the talented fighters the men and the women. Such a rich history of great fighters from Mexico.
It's going to be great! Podcast drops Friday, 09/18/2020 ⁃ Sean Hicks "EnVivo!" Podcast