Is Canelo really the first undisputed Mexican world champion?


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¿Realmente es Canelo el primer campeón mundial mexicano indiscutido?

Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez This Saturday he became the first Mexican and Latin American boxer to achieve the status of undisputed champion, since boxing is governed by four organizations. However, before, when there were only two, there were several Mexicans with that label.

The age of organisms

The AMB was created in 1921, first as National Boxing Association (NBA) and changed its name to the current one in 1962; the CMB, for its part, it was born in 1963 and for 20 years they were the only two organisms. Even between 1963 and 1968, the CMB and the AMB they worked unified. That is, they recognized the same champion.

In 1983 the International Boxing Association of the United States, which in 1984 changed its name to FIB, and the OMB it was the last organism to appear, in 1988.

Since the four organizations exist, only five boxers had managed to have all the sashes at the same time before Canelo. First, Bernard Hopkins, who did it in September 2004 at middleweight; defended all the scepters in February 2005, but in July of that year he lost with Jermain taylor, who was the second boxer to be the undisputed monarch.

It was until 2017 when the third boxer in history to sweep a division arrived, Terence crawford in the super light, while Oleksandr Usyk he did it a year later to dominate at cruiserweight. Equally, Teofimo Lopez, when he defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko was crowned by the four organisms.

The last one had been Josh taylor, who was proclaimed the best in the world at super lightweight last May. And next on the list is the Canelo Alvarez crowning itself undisputed in 2021.

No Latino boxer, much less a Mexican, has managed to collect all four titles in a division at the same time and Canelo is one triumph away from achieving it, since he has in his possession the super middleweight of the WBC, WBA and OMB, and on Saturday he will face Caleb Plant, duel of the girdle of the FIB.

The other undisputed Mexicans

Although it would be a historic event for Mexican, Latin and even world boxing, since there has never been a champion with all the titles at the same time at 168 pounds, other Mexicans were already undisputed monarchs.

It is worth explaining, as already mentioned, that at his birth, in 1963, the CMB and the AMB they worked unified. They sought to create a single governing body in boxing that would take power away from the mafias and promoters. They did so until 1968, when the AMB he decided to part ways with the deal, and acknowledge his own champion.

Between 1963 and 1968, then the boxing champions were unified. CMB and AMB they recognized the same champion. During that period, Mexican champions were crowned who would extend their unified reign well into the 1970s.

Ultiminio Ramos and then Vicente Saldívar

The Cuban-Mexican Ultiminio Ramos He was crowned featherweight champion of both agencies in March 1963 in the Dodger Stadium from The Angels after beating Davey moore, scepters that he defended three times.

Moore he was the reigning world champion since 1959. And when the organisms are born in 1963, he automatically becomes world champion unified by the CMB and the AMB. Moore was knocked out by Ultiminio Ramos in that fight in which the American loses his life due to the injuries suffered, and the Cuban-Mexican won both portions of the title.

Bouquets made three defenses of his scepters, and then lost to another Mexican, Vicente Saldivar on September 26, 1964, in the Bullfighting of Cuatro Caminos in Mexico City.

A) Yes, Saldivar he kept the titles AMB and CMB featherweight, and in that 1964, he became the first native Mexican to be undisputed champion in the era of organisms.

Saldivar made seven defenses of his titles AMB and CMB. On October 14, 1967, after knocking out Howard Winstone at the Azteca Stadium, the Lefty Gold announced his retirement. There he left Saldivar their titles left vacant. And there, too, the featherweight world championship was fragmented for the first time because the CMB ordered a fight, and the AMB other. By 1968, there were already two world featherweight champions. In 1969, Vicente Saldivar returned from retirement, and in 1970 he was crowned featherweight world champion CMB, but no longer from the AMB. He lost the scepter in his first defense.

Naples Butter

Another Cuban and Mexican, José “Mantequilla” Naples, He was undisputed champion at the time of two organisms. He was crowned on April 18, 1969 when he defeated Curtis cokes to be proclaimed world welterweight champion CMB and AMB at Forum from Inglewood.

In case of Naples Butter It was peculiar, because he had to reign with the welterweight titles AMB and CMB reunited. Emile griffith, he was world welterweight champion from 61, and with the birth of the two bodies he automatically became champion CMB and AMB at 147 pounds at the end of 1962. Still reigning at welterweight, however, he ventured into the middleweights and was crowned world champion by the AMB and the CMB. Then, Griffith he reigned in two different categories at the same time and was ordered to give up his welterweight titles. The AMB stripped it in June 66.

Curtis cokes wins the title in August 1966 AMB that I had vacated Griffith, and after making his first successful defense, in November 1966, the CMB it also recognizes him as a world champion. Again, the titles AMB and CMB they were unified again.

It is precisely to Curtis cokes, To who Naples Butter He beats him in April 1969. Thus begins a long reign in welterweights. Naples makes three defenses, and loses with Billy backus in 1970, but regained his titles in the rematch, weaving together a new chain of 10 successful defenses that lasted until 1975.

It was on May 16, 1975 when the world welterweight championship was fragmented, as the AMB dethroned Butter for not fighting against Clyde Gray or Angel Sword. Naples continued to reign for the CMB as world welterweight champion, until he lost it in December 1975, and went into retirement.

Rubén Olivares, then Chucho Castillo and Rafael Herrera

Rubén “Púas” Olivares was another undisputed Mexican monarch, when on August 22, 1969 the bantamweight titles of the AMB and the CMB by knocking out Lionel rose at Inglewood Forum.

The lineage of Olive groves goes back to Eder Jofre, who reigned as a rooster monarch of the NBA, the antecedent of the AMB, and then automatically becomes a unified champion of the AMB and CMB when the two organisms are born. Jofre lose with Fighting Harada in 1965; Harada lose with Lionel rose in 1968. And then Rose is knocked out by Ruben Olivares in 69.

Title CMB and AMB Bantamweight remained unified in the power of the champion, although by 1969, both bodies were fully independent.

Olive groves makes two defenses, and loses his scepters in the second fight against another Mexican Jesús “Chucho” Castillo that on October 16, 1970 he defeated the Spikes. And it’s the same Mutt another of the undisputed Mexican monarchs, although he reigned only six months. Ruben recover the scepters by beating the same Chucho Castillo in the third fight between the two in 1971.

The Spikes makes two more defenses, and loses his scepters CMB and AMB bantamweight against another Mexican, Rafael Herrera, that took them from the Olive picks on March 19, 1972.

Nevertheless, Rafael Herrera lost the titles in his first defense four months later against Enrique Pinder. Finally, in December 1972, the CMB dethroned Pinder for not fighting with Rodolfo Martinez. Thus the world bantamweight championship was fragmented.

Rafael Herrera in 1972, then, he was the last Mexican champion to have undisputed status when there were only two organizations.

The era of the three and the four organisms

In 1983 a new body was born, the International Boxing Federation (IBF), which was formed with a split of the AMB.

So between 1983 and 1988, it was the era of the three organisms, with the nascent FIB, accompanying the AMB and to CMB. However, in those years there was no Mexican champion who reigned for the three organisms.

And then, in 1989, the World Boxing Organization (WBO), inaugurating the era of the four organisms. It was until 2021, that a Mexican, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, He could once again be the undisputed world champion, and the only one reigning in the era of the four organisms.

The term of undisputed champion is recent

Despite the fact that before there were other Mexican champions who had in their possession all the portions of a world title, the term in question began to be common this century. Particularly after Bernard Hopkins became world middleweight champion by all four agencies in 2004 after knocking out Oscar de la hoya.

But before, it was a term that was not used when the Mexicans conquered the two titles that existed. It was also not used when Mike tyson was heavy world champion by the three organisms that existed on August 1, 1987, those of the WBC, WBA and FIB.

“It was never said that he was absolute champion, unified or super champion, much less, it was taken naturally,” he explains Jose Luis Camarillo, head of the boxing section of the newspaper This.

Camarillo He recalled that when there were only two organisms in the boxing world, terms such as unified or undisputed were not used. He considered that those terms have become fashionable, particularly in this century.

That’s something he agreed on Victor Cota, historian of CMB.

“Before there was none of that,” he commented Victor Cota. “All that terminology has been going on lately.”

Regardless of whether there were undisputed Mexican champions before or if they are not considered as such, the Canelo Alvarez made history for his country and for Latin America. He became the first undisputed Mexican champion to reign over the four recognized bodies that govern boxing.


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