Alexis Arguello vs Salvador Sanchez. Who wins?
This is a revisited question asked previously from Brent. 15 rounds at featherweight.
Blogbaba ranks Salvador Sanchez at just bout the top of boxing's great little guys. With such a short career, and such a tragic end, Sanchez still left his mark on boxing history as one of the greats. Alexis Arquello has a legacy of equal stature, but drawn out over time, which somewhat dilutes the impact. We lost Sanchez while he was still for the most part invincible in the eyes of the boxing public. We saw the decline of Arquello, which magnifies some of the aura of greatness attributed to Salvador Sanchez. I think Arquello would have bent to the will of Sanchez and eventually bowed to the relentless pressure much the same way a young Azuma Nelson faded against Sanchez.
Salvador Sanchez by late round KO
Sánchez started his career very young, as a teenager, and he started piling up wins against tough Mexican opposition. His first fight of note came against the Mexican bantamweight champion Antonio Becerra, and Becerra proved far too experienced for the young Sánchez, dropping him in the first round, en route to a 12 round split decision. This would turn out to be Sánchez's last knockdown and loss suffered during his career.
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 Sánchez, who knocked out the defending champion in 13 rounds in Phoenix, Arizona. 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 he lasted one more round.
After defeating the young future world champion Juan Laporte, Sánchez embarked on a string of defenses against men like Patrick Ford and Roberto Castanon, retaining his title each time. Then World Jr Featherweight champion Wilfredo Gómez 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 Sánchez was an unknown to the casual boxing fan no more. He became a household name all over America that night.
Two fights later, 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.
Then came Azumah Nelson at Madison Square Garden. The unknown Nelson came from Ghana and would later become a 3 time world champion and a future hall of famer. He was unknown 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.
The fight with Nelson proved to be Sánchez's last. 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 brand new Porsche sports car, dying instantly. At the time of his death at 23, there were talks about a rematch with Gómez or a challenge of world lightweight champion Alexis Argüello.
Sánchez was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 1991.
Sanchez all the way
ARGUELLO WAS A BETTER FIGHTER AND A BETTER PUNCHER. THE PEOPLE THAT PICKED SANCHEZ ARE WRONG, SO SAYS ME THE BIBLE OF BOXING.
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