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. He is also the uncle of Salvador Sánchez II.
|Real name||Salvador Sánchez Narváez|
The Invincible Eagle
Mr. Pulmones (Mr. Lungs)
|Height||168 cm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Reach||173 cm (68 in)|
|Born||January 26, 1959|
Santiago Tianguistenco, State of Mexico, Mexico
|Died||August 12, 1982 (aged 23)|
|Wins by KO||32|
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. In 2003, The Ring rated Sánchez number 88 on the list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Sánchez was voted as the #3 featherweight of the 20th century by the Associated Press.
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.
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).
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. 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.
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.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|46 fights||44 wins||1 loss|
|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.|
| WBC Featherweight Champion
Feb 2 1980 – Aug 12 1982
Died in car crash
Title next held byJuan Laporte
| Lineal Featherweight Champion
Feb 2 1980 – Aug 12 1982
Died in car crash
Title next held byEusebio Pedroza
| Latest born world champion to die
August 12 – December 3, 1982
Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh
- Luevanos, Fernando (2006-10-04). "Mexicano Salvador Sánchez". Box Rec. Archived from the original on 2015-01-04. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- Seckbach, Elie (2009-10-04). "Sánchez like Sánchez". Fan House. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- "About.com: Boxing". Boxing.about.com. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
- Eisele, Andrew (2003). "Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers". About.com. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- "AP Fighters of the Century List". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2008-10-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Lightweight champ Sánchez dies in crash