Salvador Sánchez

Salvador Sánchez Narváez (January 26, 1959 – August 12, 1982) was a Mexican boxer born in the town of Santiago Tianguistenco, Estado de México. Sanchez was the WBC and lineal featherweight champion from 1980 to 1982. Many of his contemporaries as well as boxing writers believe that had it not been for his premature death, Sánchez could have gone on to become the greatest featherweight boxer of all time. Sánchez died on August 12, 1982 in a car accident from Querétaro to San Luis Potosí.[1] He is also the uncle of Salvador Sánchez II.[2]

Salvador Sánchez
S. Sanchez.jpg
Statistics
Real nameSalvador Sánchez Narváez
Nickname(s)Sal Sánchez
The Invincible Eagle
The Champ
Chava
Mr. Pulmones (Mr. Lungs)
Iron Lung
Weight(s)Featherweight
Height168 cm (5 ft 6 in)
Reach173 cm (68 in)
NationalityMexican
Born(1959-01-26)January 26, 1959
Santiago Tianguistenco, State of Mexico, Mexico
DiedAugust 12, 1982(1982-08-12) (aged 23)
Queretaro, Mexico
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights46
Wins44
Wins by KO32
Losses1
Draws1
No contests0

In 1991, Sánchez was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The Ring magazine named both him, and Sugar Ray Leonard, as Fighter of the Year in 1981. In 2002, he was named the 24th greatest fighter of the past 80 years by The Ring magazine.[3] In 2003, The Ring rated Sánchez number 88 on the list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.[4] Sánchez was voted as the #3 featherweight of the 20th century by the Associated Press.[5]

Professional careerEdit

Sánchez started his professional career at the age of 16, as a teenager (after a brief amateur career consisting of reportedly 4 amateur bouts) he started piling up wins against tough Mexican opposition. His first fight of note came in his 19th professional fight against the Mexican bantamweight champion Antonio Becerra. Becerra proved too experienced for the young Sánchez, the bout ended in a split decision defeat for Sánchez.

Sánchez kept on fighting and moved to the Featherweight division. Soon he had beaten people like the Puerto Rican featherweight champion Felix Trinidad Sr., on his way to securing a title shot at world champion Danny "Little Red" Lopez, a popular TV fighter of the late 1970s who was an impressive fighter and had won some spectacular fights against the likes of former world champion David Kotei (twice), Juan Malvares and Mike Ayala. Confident and hard to beat, Lopez was beaten by the 21-year-old Sánchez, who knocked out the defending champion in 13 rounds in Phoenix, Arizona, United States on February 2, 1980. Sánchez defended his title for the first time with a 15-round unanimous decision against Ruben Castillo (47–1). Thinking it was just a case of 'beginner's luck' (as it was Sánchez's first world title fight ever), Lopez looked for a rematch and this he got, in Las Vegas. This time Sánchez defeated Lopez by 14th-round TKO. In his next fight, he defeated Patrick Ford (15–0) .

On December 13, 1980, Sánchez defeated future champion Juan Laporte by unanimous decision. Sánchez then defended his title against Roberto Castanon (43–1–0) and scored a win over Nicky Perez (50–3–0). Then undefeated World Jr Featherweight champion Wilfredo Gómez (32–0–1) went up in weight and challenged Sánchez. Sánchez retained the crown by a knockout in round eight on August 21, 1981, in Las Vegas, and Gómez had to return to the Jr. Featherweight division.

With that victory, Salvador was an unknown to the casual boxing fan no more. He became a household name all over the United States that night.

In his next fight, he defeated Olympic medalist Pat Cowdell by split decision. His defense vs unheralded Jorge "Rocky" Garcia was the first fight featuring two featherweights ever to be televised by HBO. He beat Garcia punch after punch, but the challenger gave honor to his nickname, an unknown fighter who lasts the distance with the world champion.

On July 21, 1982, Sánchez faced future champion Azumah Nelson at Madison Square Garden. Nelson, a late substitute for mandatory challenger Mario Miranda, was unknown at the time however, and was expected to only go a few rounds with the champ. It was an intense battle, with Sánchez managing to drop his young charge in the 7th round. After that they engaged in violent exchange after violent exchange. In the 15th, Sánchez broke out finally, connecting with a serious combination that dropped the challenger almost outside the ring. Referee Tony Perez had to stop the fight seconds later. Azumah Nelson went on to have a glittering career and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.[6]

Sánchez proved a dominant featherweight champion. He held title defense victories over the next three fighters (LaPorte, Gomez, and Nelson) who won the WBC title after his death. He went 4-0, all by knockout, against fellow members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame (Danny Lopez twice-KO 13, KO 14-Wilfredo Gomez-KO 8-and Azumah Nelson-KO 15) and defeated four future or former world champions (Lopez, Gomez, LaPorte and Nelson).

DeathEdit

As he was training for a rematch with Laporte set for September, he crashed on the early morning of August 12, 1982, while driving his Porsche 928 sports car along the federal highway from Querétaro to San Luis Potosí, dying instantly.[7] At the time of his death, there were talks about a bout with Miranda, a rematch with Gómez or a challenge of world lightweight champion Alexis Argüello. The latter was already off the table. There had been negotiations between the Sánchez and Argüello camps but they broke off when Argüello chose to campaign as a junior welterweight. Salvador Sánchez finished his career 44-1-1. Sánchez was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

ActingEdit

Sánchez appeared as himself, albeit as a Junior Lightweight world champion, in the 1983 film The Last Fight, released after his death. The movie was dedicated to him. In it, Sánchez shared scenes with Ruben Blades, who played a challenger to Sánchez's title.[8]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
46 fights 44 wins 1 loss
By knockout 32 0
By decision 12 1
Draws 1
Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
Win 44–1–1   Azumah Nelson TKO 15 (15), 1:49 July 21, 1982   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, United States Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 43–1–1   Jorge Garcia UD 15 May 8, 1982   Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas, United States Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 42–1–1   Pat Cowdell SD 15 December 12, 1981   Astrodome, Houston, Texas, United States Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 41–1–1   Wilfredo Gómez TKO 8 (15), 2:09 August 21, 1981   Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 40–1–1   Nicky Perez UD 10 July 11, 1981   Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 39–1–1   Roberto Castanon TKO 10 (15), 1:09 March 22, 1981   Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 38–1–1   Juan Laporte UD 15 December 13, 1980   County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas, U.S. Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 37-1-1   Patrick Ford MD 15 September 13, 1980   Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas, United States Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 36–1–1   Danny Lopez TKO 14 (15), 1:42 June 21, 1980   Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 35–1–1   Ruben Castillo UD 15 April 12, 1980   Civic Auditorium, Tucson, Arizona, United States Retained WBC and lineal featherweight titles
Win 34–1–1   Danny Lopez TKO 13 (15), 0:51 February 2, 1980   Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona, United States Won WBC and lineal featherweight title
Win 33–1–1   Rafael Gandarilla TKO 5 (10) December 15, 1979   Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Win 32–1–1   Richard Rozelle KO 3 (10), 1:55 September 15, 1979   Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 31–1–1   Félix Trinidad Sr. TKO 5 (10) August 7, 1979   Summit, Houston, Texas, United States
Win 30–1–1   Rosalio Muro KO 3 (10) July 22, 1979   San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Win 29–1–1   Fel Clemente UD 12 June 17, 1979   Convention Center Arena, San Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 28–1–1   Salvador Torres TKO 7 (10) May 19, 1979   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 27–1–1   James Martinez UD 10 March 13, 1979   San Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 26–1–1   Carlos Mimila KO 3 (10) February 3, 1979   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 25–1–1   José Santana TKO 2 (10) December 16, 1978   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 24–1–1   Edwin Alarcon TKO 9 (10) November 21, 1978   San Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 23–1–1   Francisco Ponce KO 2 (10) September 26, 1978   Houston, Texas, United States
Win 22–1–1   Hector Cortez TKO 7 (10) August 13, 1978   Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Win 21–1–1   José Sánchez UD 10 July 1, 1978   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Draw 20–1–1   Juan Escobar MD 10 March 15, 1978   Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 20–1   Eliseo Cosme PTS 10 December 5, 1977   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 19–1   José Luis Soto PTS 10 November 11, 1977   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Loss 18–1   Antonio Becerra SD 12 September 9, 1977   Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico For vacant Mexico Bantamweight title.
Win 18–0   Rosalio Badillo TKO 5 (10) May 21, 1977   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 17–0   Daniel Felizardo KO 5 (10) March 12, 1977   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 16–0   Raúl López TKO 10 (10) February 5, 1977   Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico
Win 15–0   Antonio Leon TKO 10 (10) December 25, 1976   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 14–0   Saul Montana TKO 9 (10) October 31, 1976   Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Win 13–0   Joel Valdez TKO 9 (10) August 11, 1976   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 12–0   Pedro Sandoval TKO 9 (10) July 5, 1976   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 11–0   Fidel Trejo KO 6 (10) May 26, 1976   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 10–0   Jose Chavez TKO 7 (10) April 24, 1976   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 9–0   Serafin Isidro Pacheco TKO 4 (8) March 31, 1976   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 8–0   Javier Solis TKO 7 (8) February 25, 1976   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 7–0   Juan Granados TKO 3 (8) January 24, 1976   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 6–0   Fidel Trejo UD 8 December 11, 1975   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 5–0   Candido Sandoval TKO 7 (8) November 25, 1975   Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 4–0   Cesar Lopez KO 4 (6) October 19, 1975   Misantla, Veracruz, Mexico
Win 3–0   Victor Martinez KO 2 (6) August 10, 1975   Misantla, Veracruz, Mexico
Win 2–0   Miguel Ortiz KO 3 (6) May 25, 1975   Misantla, Varacruz, Mexico
Win 1–0   Al Gardeno KO 3 (4) May 4, 1975   Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico Salvador's professional debut.

See alsoEdit

TriviaEdit

In the movie 21, Ben Campbell, played by Jim Sturgess, introduces himself to a girl as Salvador Sánchez.[9]

Folk Rock band Sun Kil Moon recorded an eponymous song about Sanchez on their 2003 album Ghosts of the Great Highway.

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Danny Lopez
WBC Featherweight Champion
Feb 2 1980 – Aug 12 1982
Died in car crash
Vacant
Title next held by
Juan Laporte
Lineal Featherweight Champion
Feb 2 1980 – Aug 12 1982
Died in car crash
Vacant
Title next held by
Eusebio Pedroza
Status
Preceded by
Masao Ohba
Latest born world champion to die
August 12 – December 3, 1982
Succeeded by
Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Luevanos, Fernando (2006-10-04). "Mexicano Salvador Sánchez". Box Rec. Archived from the original on 2015-01-04. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  2. ^ Seckbach, Elie (2009-10-04). "Sánchez like Sánchez". Fan House. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  3. ^ "About.com: Boxing". Boxing.about.com. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  4. ^ Eisele, Andrew (2003). "Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers". About.com. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  5. ^ "AP Fighters of the Century List". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2008-10-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Lightweight champ Sánchez dies in crash
  8. ^ http://www.salvadorsanchez.com/English/legacy.html
  9. ^ [1]

External linksEdit