10. Bobby Chacon Vs Bazooka Limón IV
December 11, 1982
Venue: Memorial Auditorium
The story of Bobby Chacon was tailor made for television. Chacon turned pro in 1972 at the age of 20 and won the WBC Featherweight title less than three years after turning pro. At 23 years old, Chacon was on top of the world. Unfortunately, Chacon’s excessive drinking and drug use led to him losing the title less than a year later. Chacon was originally a smooth boxer with excellent skills. By the eve of the 1980s, Chacon had morphed into a crowd pleasing brawler. It was around this time that he began his in ring rivalry with Rafael “Bazooka” Limón.
Limón was a 5’7” rangy Mexican southpaw who exhibited all the traits of your typical Mexican warrior. He was a vicious body puncher and winged his punches like Nolan Ryan throwing a fastball. Limón was also, like Chacon, susceptible to cuts around his eyes. If ever two men were destined to face each other in the ring, it was these two. They had fought three times, each winning once and a third fight going to a draw. After Limón knocked out Rolando Navarrete to win the WBC Super Lightweight title, it was only fitting that he would defend the title against Chacon in what would be the rubber match of their rivalry.
Chacon came into this fight with a heavy heart. Just eight months earlier, his wife Valerie committed suicide by shooting herself in the head. His career was on the line, as many in boxing felt this was his last chance at greatness. The 28-year-old Limón stayed outside during the first round and slightly hurt Chacon twice with left crosses. Round two saw Limón hurt Chacon again with a left cross and batter him in the corner with a volley of his signature winging punches. Chacon countered off the ropes and hurt Limón with a stinging right cross. Now it was Chacon’s turn to batter Limón in the corner. Chacon continued his onslaught in the third round before getting knocked down by a quick left cross counter by the champion. Three rounds in, and the rivalry was again heating up.
The fourth round was essentially a replay of the second round. Limón stunned Chacon, cornered him and landed several of his windmill punches. Chacon once again landed a big right cross and hurt Limón. Then Chacon had Limón pinned in the corner while landing several power shots. Limón was able to stay off the ropes in round five while out-punching Chacon. Chacon rebounded in round six by once again landing several hard right crosses. The theme of Limón hurting Chacon with a left cross and then Chacon firing back and hurting Limón once again occurred in the seventh round. Chacon continued his momentum in the eighth by stunning Limón several times with both left hooks and right crosses. The tide of this fight continued to change.
The ebb and flow continued in round nine. The same exact pattern occurred. Limón staggers Chacon and batters him on the ropes, Chacon lands a counter right cross and returns the favor. This time, Limón was in huge trouble. After taking a fusillade of head shots, Limón was out on his feet when the ninth round ended. Chacon failed to capitalize on the damage he did to Limón and bided his time in going after the champion in round 10. Limón thanked him by landing a whistling left cross that knocked Chacon down for the second time in the fight. You can probably guess what occurred in round 11. Yes, Limón hurts Chacon and Chacon lands a counter right while against the ropes and Chacon pummels the champion for the rest of the round.
Both men stood toe-to-toe in the next three rounds and landed their signature crosses. In the 13th round, both fighters landed their crosses simultaneously, resulting in both men getting stunned at the same time. Chacon landed another booming right cross late in the round that once again had Limón out on his feet. Despite being badly hurt, Limón kept slugging it out and was staggered several times in the 14th by Chacon’s right hand. One could not explain how both men could possibly still be standing, especially Limón, after 14 rounds.
The 15th round saw both men go all out in desperation, leaving everything out there. With less than 20 seconds left in the fight, Chacon badly hurt Limón with another one of his patented right crosses. Chacon followed up with two more right crosses that resulted in Limón finally going down. Limón barely got up before the bell rang to end the fight. Chacon earned a well deserved decision to once again become a world champion.
This would be the last WBC title fight that would be sanctioned for the 15 round distance. Beginning on January 1, 1983, WBC title fights were reduced to distances of 12 rounds. The WBC determined that this was a safety measure as Duk Koo Kim had died a month prior in his fight against WBA Lightweight Champion Ray Mancini. Kim was knocked out in the 14th round, so the WBC surmised that the additional punishment he received after the 12th round was a major cause of his death. Both the WBA and IBF would follow the WBC’s lead in 1988.
Limón was never the same after this fight, losing 11 of his next 14 fights before finally retiring in 1994 at the age of 40. He has since lived in complete anonymity in his native Mexico.
In his next fight, Chacon wound once again engage in a life and death struggle. He defeated Cornelius Boza Edwards in a 12-round war and then was stripped of his title for not fighting Héctor Camacho instead of Boza Edwards. This was a nonsensical decision by the WBC as Boza Edwards was the number one contender, not Camacho. Chacon then moved up to challenge Mancini for his Lightweight title. Chacon received both a huge payday and beating in his unsuccessful attempt at becoming a three division champion. Chacon would win his next seven fights before retiring at the age of 36 in 1988. Later in life he would suffer from dementia due to the many wars he engaged in the ring. He died after falling down while residing in a nursing home in 2016 at the age of 64.