Lee Groves

10: Julio Cesar Chavez’s greatest performances

May 8, 1993 — Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas — KO 6 Terrence Alli

Setting the Scene: Given what happened against Pernell Whitaker four months later, the Alli fight may have been the final performance of Chavez’s prime. The soon-to-be-33-year-old Alli was the unanimous number-one challenger off the strength of eight straight wins that included the then-unbeaten Charles Murray (W 12), contender John Meekins (W 12) and veteran Primo Ramos (W 8). The 24-to-1 odds in Chavez’s favor reflected the Mexican’s standing in the sport as well as the supreme form he showed in building his 86-0 mark.

What Happened: As was his custom Alli ran from his corner, pumped an extremely busy jab and fired long rights to the body. The experienced champion calmly rode out Alli’s adrenaline rush and responded with a right to the button that nearly dropped the Guyanese challenger with a minute to go and a hook at the bell that sent an unambiguous message: I can take you out whenever and however I want.

As Alli flashed, flurried, shuffled and taunted, Chavez was the picture of economy as he dug hooks to the side and shot crisp rights down the middle. Once Chavez forced Alli into point-blank range his fate was all but sealed. Chavez’s cluster bombs broke down Alli’s defenses and at one point in round four he landed eight consecutive hooks and uppercuts. A withering flurry at the end of the fifth set the stage for Chavez’s pyrotechnics in the sixth. A beautifully delivered 11-punch combination floored Alli seconds into the round and 21 more unanswered blows prompted referee Carlos Padilla to consider stepping in. The wily Chavez, spotting Padilla in his peripheral vision, immediately walked toward his corner with arms raised. With the celebration already underway, Padilla had little choice but to officially call it. In effect, Chavez coaxed the TKO win out of Padilla.

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