Salvador Sánchez

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This article is about the Mexican boxer. For the current vice president of El Salvador, see Salvador Sánchez Cerén.
Salvador Sánchez
S. Sanchez.jpg
Statistics
Real name Salvador Sánchez Narváez
Nickname(s) Sal Sánchez
The Invincible Eagle
The Champ
Chava
Rated at Featherweight
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Reach 170 cm (67 in)
Nationality Mexican
Born January 26, 1959
Santiago Tianguistenco, EdoMex, Mexico
Died August 12, 1982(1982-08-12) (aged 23)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 46
Wins 44
Wins by KO 32
Losses 1
Draws 1
No contests 0

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

Career[edit]

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. Sanchez 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 [2]

Sanchez's dominance as featherweight champion was such that he held title defense victories over the next three fighters (LaPorte, Gomez, and Nelson) who won the WBC title after his death.

Death[edit]

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 Santiago de Querétaro to San Luis Potosí, dying instantly.[3] 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 Sanchez 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.

Professional record[edit]

44 Wins (32 knockouts, 12 decisions), 1 Lost, 1 Draw [3]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 44–1–1 Ghana Azumah Nelson TKO 15 (15), 1:49 July 21, 1982 New YorkMadison Square Garden, New York, New York Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 43–1–1 Mexico Jorge Garcia UD 15 May 8, 1982 TexasReunion Arena, Dallas, Texas Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 42–1–1 United Kingdom Pat Cowdell SD 15 December 12, 1981 TexasAstrodome, Houston, Texas Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 41–1–1 Puerto Rico Wilfredo Gómez TKO 8 (15), 2:09 August 21, 1981 NevadaCaesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 40–1–1 United States Nicky Perez PTS 10 July 11, 1981 CaliforniaLos Angeles, California
Win 39–1–1 Spain Roberto Castanon TKO 10 (15), 1:09 March 22, 1981 NevadaCaesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 38–1–1 Puerto Rico Juan Laporte UD 15 December 13, 1980 TexasCounty Coliseum, El Paso, Texas Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 37–1–1 Guyana Patrick Ford MD 15 September 13, 1980 TexasFreeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 36–1–1 United States Danny Lopez TKO 14 (15), 1:42 June 21, 1980 NevadaCaesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 35–1–1 United States Ruben Castillo UD 15 April 12, 1980 ArizonaCivic Auditorium, Tucson, Arizona Retained WBC Featherweight title.
Win 34–1–1 United States Danny Lopez TKO 13(15), 0:51 February 2, 1980 ArizonaVeteran's Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona Won WBC Featherweight title.
Win 33–1–1 Mexico Rafael Gandarilla TKO 5 (10) December 15, 1979 MexicoGuadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Win 32–1–1 United States Richard Rozelle KO 3 (10) September 15, 1979 CaliforniaSports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Win 31–1–1 Puerto Rico Felix Trinidad Sr TKO 5 (10) August 7, 1979 TexasSummit, Houston, Texas
Win 30–1–1 Mexico Rosalio Muro KO 3 (10) July 22, 1979 MexicoSan Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Win 29–1–1 Philippines Fel Clemente UD 12 June 17, 1979 TexasConvention Center Arena, San Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 28–1–1 Mexico Salvador Torres TKO 7 (10) May 19, 1979 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 27–1–1 United States James Martinez UD 10 March 13, 1979 TexasSan Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 26–1–1 Mexico Carlos Mimila KO 3 (10) February 3, 1979 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 25–1–1 Panama Jose Santana TKO 2 (10) December 16, 1978 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 24–1–1 Philippines Edwin Alarcon TKO 9 (10) November 21, 1978 TexasSan Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 23–1–1 United StatesFrancisco Ponce KO 2 (10) September 26, 1978 TexasHouston, Texas, United States
Win 22–1–1 EcuadorHector Cortez TKO 7 (10) August 13, 1978 MexicoMazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Win 21–1–1 MexicoJose Sanchez UD 10 July 1, 1978 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Draw 20–1–1 MexicoJuan Escobar MD 10 March 15, 1978 CaliforniaOlympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 20–1 MexicoEliseo Cosme UD 10 December 5, 1977 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 19–1 MexicoJose Luis Soto UD 10 November 11, 1977 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Loss 18–1 MexicoAntonio Becerra SD 12 September 9, 1977 MexicoMazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico vacant Mexico Bantamweight title on the line.
Win 18–0 Mexico Rosalio Badillo TKO 5 (10) May 21, 1977 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 17–0 Mexico Daniel Felizardo KO 5 (10) March 12, 1977 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 16–0 Mexico Raul Lopez TKO 10 (10) February 5, 1977 MexicoMexicali, Baja California, Mexico
Win 15–0 MexicoAntonio Leon TKO 10 (10) December 25, 1976 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 14–0 MexicoSaul Montana TKO 9 (10) October 31, 1976 MexicoNuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Win 13–0 Mexico Joel Valdez TKO 9 (10) August 11, 1976 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 12–0 MexicoPedro Sandoval TKO 9 (10) July 5, 1976 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 11–0 MexicoFidel Trejo KO 6 (10) May 26, 1976 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 10–0 MexicoJose Chavez TKO 7 (10) April 24, 1976 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 9–0 MexicoSerafin Isidro Pacheco TKO 4 (8) March 31, 1976 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 8–0 MexicoJavier Solis TKO 7 (8) February 25, 1976 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 7–0 MexicoJuan Granados TKO 3 (8) January 24, 1976 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 6–0 MexicoFidel Trejo UD 8 December 11, 1975 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 5–0 MexicoCandido Sandoval TKO 7 (8) November 25, 1975 MexicoMexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Win 4–0 MexicoCesar Lopez KO 4 (6) October 19, 1975 MexicoMisantla, Veracruz, Mexico
Win 3–0 MexicoVictor Martinez KO 2 (6) August 10, 1975 MexicoMisantla, Veracruz, Mexico
Win 2–0 MexicoMiguel Ortiz KO 3 (6) May 25, 1975 MexicoMisantla, Veracruz, Mexico
Win 1–0 MexicoAl Gardeno KO 3 (4) May 4, 1975 MexicoVeracruz, Veracruz, Mexico Salvador's professional debut.

Trivia[edit]

In the movie 21, Ben Campbell, played by Jim Sturgess, introduces himself to a girl as Salvador Sanchez.[4]

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
Succeeded by
Juan LaPorte
Preceded by
Thomas Hearns
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
Shared award with Sugar Ray Leonard

1981
Succeeded by
Larry Holmes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Luevanos, Fernando (2006-10-04). "Mexicano Salvador Sánchez". Box Rec. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 
  2. ^ Seckbach, Elie (2009-10-04). "Sánchez like Sánchez". Fan House. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 
  3. ^ Lightweight champ Sanchez dies in crash
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]