It has been 30 years since that night, and everyone continues to remember with nostalgia the epic victory that Julio Cesar Chavez reached about Meldrick taylor in the last round. It was March 17, 1990, at the Hilton hotel in Las Vegas.
Throughout the history of boxing there have been many fights that fans remember. But there is another level, the super fights, the legendary nights, the fights that write history. Memories passed from generation to generation.
And that night of Julio Cesar Chavez It also has the special seasoning that was also surrounded by controversy. You could not miss that special aroma in one of the great boxing battles in history.
I re-watched the fight, card in hand, scoring again each round, trying to solve a question that had been asked for years.
In a fight that got complicated Julio Cesar Chavez, managed to reduce Meldrick taylor until knocking him down in the last round. Taylor he was in very bad condition, but he stood up. However, with five seconds on the clock to end the round, the referee Richard Steele stopped the fight.
The decision of Steele continues to generate debate. Critics note that, with a few seconds left on the clock, he stopped a fight that Taylor he was winning.
After 11 rounds, the judge Dave moretti had the fight 107-102 in favor of Meldrick taylor, to whom he had given 8 rounds and 3 to Chavez. Another judge Jerry roth, marked the loosest card, and it was in favor of Taylor, 108-101, giving 9 rounds to Taylor and only 2 to Chavez. And the third judge gave the fight to Julio Cesar Chavez 105-104, with 6 rounds to go Chavez and 5 for Taylor.
That is, if the referee Richard Steele left Taylor finish the fight, the American would have taken a split decision victory over Chavez, with everything and the fall of the last round.
Was Meldrick Taylor really winning the fight over Julio Cesar Chavez?
It was a clear 10-9 in favor of Taylor. The American used his jab and kept in constant motion leaving Chavez In the distance. The great speed of his punches allowed him to connect 33 of the 92 he threw. ChavezIn contrast, he could barely land 9 of the 27 he threw.
The rhythm of the fight began in favor of Meldrick taylor.
The second chapter was almost a replica of the first, since Taylor It seemed in command of the ring. However, at one point in the episode, Chavez reached it. He connected some combinations that opened a cut in the lower lip to Taylor.
The Mexican arsenal managed to penetrate for the first time the defense of Taylor, Y Chavez took round 10 to 9.
The fight entered a higher level of intensity. Both fighters attacked without saving anything, and managed to land power shots. However, it seemed clear that Taylor connected a greater number of combinations, while Chavez managed to land only isolated blows. The Mexican could not follow his hitting due to the speed of Taylor.
Taylor again took command of the fight, moving all over the string. Made fail Chavez, and managed to connect it from different angles and directions.
Another round for Taylor 10 to 9.
The narrative of the fight was beginning to be clear. Meldrick taylor He was still in command of the fight, but his body and face began to show the ravages of the Chavez.
Speed of Taylor he was still there, and with that he scored important points in the rounds. But nevertheless, Chavez drilled the body of Taylor.
It was a closed round, but I gave it to Taylor 10 to 9, because it seemed in advantage during the episode.
Meldrick taylor I already acknowledged receipt of the beating to the body of Julio Cesar Chavez, but he could no longer respond with the same clarity or speed of the first rounds. Chavez I kept putting combinations.
For the middle of the round, the face of Taylor it was beginning to become disfigured, and it was bleeding profusely from its mouth.
It was a round for Julio Cesar Chavez, 10 to 9, and tried to tip the scales back in his favor.
Taylor He came out with renewed vigor in the seventh round. Again, he pulled out his arsenal of lightning strikes and took the round. His formula was to be more active than Chavez, throw more shots, and score points.
Meldrick taylor took episode 10 to 9.
It was another round for Meldrick Taylor, who stayed in the center of the ring. It was the terrain where the American looked best, away from the ropes and corners. Combinations of Taylorfast and crisp, they surpassed the power shots of Chavez.
It was round for Taylor 10 to 9.
The ninth round was difficult to score. Chavez it was still full of dynamite. His power shots and liver hooks were immobilizing Taylor.
But the American continued to have fast, precise and attractive answers to the eyes of the judges.
Despite the closed round, I gave it to Taylor 10 to 9.
It was an episode for Chavez I was already seeing the fruits of the demolition I was doing on Taylor.
The American no longer had legs. He had absorbed too much punishment, but he was staying in the fight with pure heart, knowing he was nearing the final bell.
Round for Chavez 10 to 9.
Another round for Chavez who was hunting about Taylor. I felt it hurt, and Taylor little by little he was fading from the fight. The blows of Chavez they were up and down. He kept demolishing the body of the American.
However, the fight was leaving him. There was an urge for the Mexican to knock out, or lose.
10 to 9 for Chávez.
The last round
Chavez continued his demolition task on Taylor, but the round was consuming him and the fight too. Taylor he was a ghost of himself. Can courage tried to exchange with Chavez, but all the blows of power entered him. He was tired and beaten. The balance was shaky.
With 22 seconds left, a right of Chavez came dry to the jaw of Taylor and the American’s legs shook. The sand exploded in euphoria sensing the end.
Taylor it was wounded and cloudy. Instead of retreating, he was on top of Chavez to exchange, about to fall. The Mexican took him to the corner and that right hand that is tattooed in our memories arrived.
Meldrick taylor he went to the canvas with 15 seconds left on the last round clock. He got up at the count of six, and with six seconds on the clock. Steele She met his eyes with a compassionate look, and stopped the match with 4 seconds left. Before the incredulity of narrators, and of the own manager of Meldrick taylor, Lou duva, who entered as possessed to claim Steele.
Many believe that Steele should have left Meldrick taylor continue in the combat because it was already in the last seconds. Further, Steele He seemed to have no notion of the clock as there was no 10-second warning in the fight.
Yet with the beating I was getting Meldrick taylor And with all the health complications that the American has today, it seems that was the best decision at that time.
This is how Meldrick Taylor remained after his fights with Julio César Chávez
How was my card?
Now that I saw the fight card in hand again, after 11 rounds, I had Meldrick taylor winning 106 to 103. I gave seven rounds to Taylor, and four rounds to Chavez.
What if Richard Steele I would have let follow Meldrick taylor, and reach the final decision, the fight would have been 114-113 in favor of Taylor on my card.
The final memory
More than the result, what stayed in the memory of many fans was the way both fighters fought face to face on a great night of boxing.
The arena was packed and most were fans of Chavez. That majority of Mexican fans may well have been an influence on the controversial decision that Richard Steele took that night.
The fight will continue to generate conversation and debate for many more decades. But what will never go unnoticed is the heart, the bravery, and the way they both sought greatness.