Bobby Chacon

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Bobby Chacon
Chacon (right) vs. Boza-Edwards
Real nameBobby Chacon
Height5 ft 5+12 in (166 cm)
Born(1951-11-28)November 28, 1951
Pacoima, California, U.S.
DiedSeptember 7, 2016(2016-09-07) (aged 64)
Lake Elsinore, California, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights67
Wins by KO47
No contests0

Bobby Chacon (November 28, 1951 – September 7, 2016) was an American two-time world boxing champion at Featherweight (1974) and Super Featherweight (1982). Chacon had a record of 59 wins, 7 losses and 1 draw, with 47 wins coming by knockout. He held victories over seven other men who held a world title, and later avenged 5 of his 7 losses. The world champions he beat were: Rubén Olivares, Chucho Castillo, Danny Lopez, Alfredo Marcano, Rafael Limón, Cornelius Boza-Edwards and Arturo Frias.


Early career[edit]

Born in Pacoima, in the San Fernando Valley, Chacon graduated from San Fernando High School and turned professional in 1972 while a student at California State University, Northridge, leading to the nickname "Schoolboy".[1][2][3] He trained under Joe Ponce and won his first 19 fights, including a win against former champion Jesus Castillo. Fourteen months into his professional career, Chacon faced world champion Rubén Olivares but lost the bout when Olivares scored a ninth-round knock out. After suffering his first defeat against Olivares, Chacon won his next four bouts, then faced off against cross-town rival and future champion Danny Lopez. Chacon outboxed Lopez and stopped him in the ninth round.

WBC Featherweight title[edit]

On September 7, 1974, Chacon won the vacant WBC Featherweight title by defeating former WBA Junior Lightweight champion Alfredo Marcano in nine rounds at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. During his first period as a world champion, Chacon got to enjoy the good life, but he loved partying and became an alcoholic.[4][5]

Chacon lost his title in his second defense against arch-rival Rubén Olivares. Almost immediately after the loss, he fought the first of his four fight rivalry with another world champion, Rafael "Bazooka" Limón, beginning what some boxing experts and historians called one of the fiercest and most spectacular boxing rivalries in history. Limón beat Chacon in their first bout by a decision. Chacon then scored nine straight wins, leading him to a third match with Olivares. This time, Chacon defeated Olivares in their 12-round bout by a decision. In Chacon's next fight, he lost an upset decision to Arturo Leon. Chacon rebounded by scoring victories over Ignacio Campos, Augie Pantellas, Gerald Hayes and Shig Fukuyama. He then fought to a technical draw in a rematch against Rafael Limón.

In November 1979, Chacon received a shot at the WBC title, versus world champion Alexis Argüello. Arguello defeated him by a devastating knock out after Chacon suffered a bad cut in the seventh round. In 1980, Chacon had only one fight, but it was a significant one. He beat Limón in their third bout, and the WBC once again made him their number one challenger. In 1981, Arguello had left the title vacant and gone up in weight to pursue the world's Lightweight title. Limón then beat Idelfonso Bethelmy by a knockout in 15 in Los Angeles to win the WBC world Jr. Lightweight championship. In his first title defense, he lost it by a decision to Uganda's Cornelius Boza-Edwards, who, in turn, defended his title against Chacon on his first defense. In a televised bout, Edwards retained the world title by a knockout in the thirteenth round.

Chacon won five fights in a row in 1982, including a rematch victory over Arturo Leon, which kept him as the number one challenger, but then a dramatic development outside the ring changed his life forever: Chacon's wife, Valorie Chacon, flew to Hawaii on February of that year, hoping to convince him to leave boxing and move there if she found them good jobs. She was able to find a job, but unable to convince him to join her in Hawaii, so she flew back. She pleaded for him to leave the sport but was unsuccessful, and the night before he boxed Salvador Ugalde, she shot and killed herself with a rifle. Chacon went through with the fight and KO'ed Ugalde in the third round. He dedicated his win to his deceased wife.[6]

WBC Super Featherwight title[edit]

Two more victories followed before his fourth and final bout with Limón. Limón had regained the world's Jr. Lightweight title by beating Rolando Navarrete by a knockout in 12 rounds. Navarrete, for his part, had won the title by beating Edwards by a knockout in five rounds. Chacon-Limón IV became one of the fights of the year and the decade, according to such magazines as The Ring, KO Magazine, and Ring En Español, and after 15 rounds Chacon secured a close decision and his second world title in Sacramento.[5]

About one and a half years after his wife's suicide, Chacon remarried and bought a large farm with a mansion and, according to what he said at an interview, about 40 horses. He also acquired a collection of Rolls Royce cars and some other vehicles. In between, he and Boza Edwards met for a second time, with his world title on the line, in what The Ring called 1983's fight of the year. Chacon rose from a knockdown in round one and recovered from a dangerous cut. The announcers, including Ferdie Pacheco, were explicit in saying the fight should be stopped because of the pounding Chacon endured. But Chacon came back to drop Boza Edwards in round twelve and avenge his earlier defeat to the Ugandan former champion. In 1983, Chacon was signed to defend his WBC title in that rematch against Boza Edwards, who was the WBC's mandatory challenger. Even though WBC rules stated the mandatory challenger should receive a shot at the title, the WBC insisted Chacon fight Héctor Camacho in Puerto Rico instead, then stripped him of his title when he refused.[7]

Chacon started 1984 with a move up in weight, to the Lightweight division, where he tried to join the exclusive club of boxing's three division world champions, but was knocked out in three during his challenge against world champion Ray Mancini in Reno. Chacon then beat Carlton Sparrow by a TKO in five rounds and announced his retirement. Chacon came back in 1985 and he won five fights, including one against former world champion Arturo Frias by a knockout in seven, and a knockout in five over Rafael Solis, who had challenged Camacho for the world Jr. Lightweight title that had once belonged to Chacon.[8] In 1987 and 1989 he won one fight each year. He retired in 1989 winning 14 out of his last 15 fights.

Later life, death[edit]

Chacon was placed on probation in 1984 for beating his second of three wives.[4] His life was again marred by tragedy in 1991, when his son Bobby Jr. was killed in a gang slaying.[4] In 1996, he was spotted at a public appearance in Phoenix, Arizona, to see the fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez. By 2000 he had lost most of his savings and was being cared for by a nurse as he suffered from the effects of dementia pugilistica (boxer's syndrome).[4][9] He died after suffering a fall while in hospice care for dementia on September 7, 2016.[1][2][3] He was 64.

Honors and references[edit]

In 1982, he was named comeback fighter of the year by The Ring. His wins over Limon in 1982 and Edwards in 1983, were both named Ring Magazine fights of the year. In 2003, Chacon was included on The Ring's list of "The 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time".[10][unreliable source?] Chacon was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in January 2005;[1] he was to be inducted into the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame later in September 2016.[2][3]

The chorus of Warren Zevon's song "Boom Boom Mancini", from his 1987 album Sentimental Hygiene, makes reference to Chacon's fight with Mancini three years earlier.[3] Chacon died thirteen years to the day after Zevon.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Hall of Fame boxer Bobby Chacon dies at 64". The Washington Times. Associated Press. September 8, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Pugmire, Lance (September 7, 2016). "Bobby Chacon, former two-division boxing champion from Sylmar, dies at 64". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ a b c d Roberts, Sam (September 10, 2016). "Bobby Chacon, Boxing Champion Hounded by Misfortune, Dies at 64". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c d Dominguez, Fernando (May 6, 1999). "Former World Champion Boxer Bobby Chacon, 47, Suffers From Pugilistic Dementia and Chronic Substance Abuse, but Again He Is Trying to Get . . . Off the Canvas". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Rafael, Dan (September 7, 2016). "Hall of Fame boxer Bobby Chacon dies at 64". ESPN.
  6. ^ "Chacon's Wife in Suicide; Wanted Him to Quit Ring". The New York Times. March 16, 1982. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Heller, Peter (1988). Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story. New York, New York: New American Library. pp. 220–221. ISBN 0-688-10123-2.
  8. ^ Amato, Jim (October 29, 2010). "Why Bobby Chacon was Bad to the Bone" – via David Martinez,
  9. ^ Sares, Ted (December 23, 2007). "Bobby Chacon and Danny 'Little Red' Lopez". East Side Boxing. Archived from the original on December 25, 2007.
  10. ^ "The 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time!". Box Rec. August 29, 2010.
  11. ^ Sweeting, Adam (September 8, 2003). "Obituary: Warren Zevon". The Guardian. Retrieved September 11, 2016.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Eder Jofre
WBC Featherweight Champion
7 September 1974– 20 June 1975
Succeeded by
Preceded by WBC Super Featherweight Champion
11 December 1982 – 27 June 1983
Succeeded by
Preceded by The Ring Magazine Comeback of the Year
Succeeded by
Ray Leonard KO14 Thomas Hearns
Ring Magazine fight of the year
W15 Rafael Limon

José Luis Ramírez KO4 Edwin Rosario
Ring Magazine fight of the year
W12 Cornelius Boza-Edwards