Lee Groves

10: Floyd Mayweather’s greatest fights

7. November 10, 2001 – KO 9 Jesus Chavez, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco

 

The eighth and final defense of Mayweather’s WBC super featherweight title reign was challenging on two fronts. The first was his struggle to make the 130-pound limit, which he did with a half-pound to spare. The other was Chavez’s swarming, never-quit attack that vaulted the challenger to a 36-1 (25) record than included 32 consecutive victories. The man nicknamed “El Matador” was really a bull with a world-class tenacity that could run anyone out of the ring. 

Chavez roared out of his corner and climbed all over Mayweather, but the champion deflected most of the blows while landing his usual stiletto-sharp counters. The second round saw Chavez break through with more regularity, especially with rights to the jaw, double hooks to the body and heavy jabs. The relentless pressure continued in rounds three through six, and Mayweather eagerly engaged him in close quarters. Never before had Mayweather faced such ceaseless aggression, but he handled every issue with typical aplomb.

Mayweather pelted Chavez with rights over the top and in the eighth he connected with several massive uppercuts. Chavez walked through the fire and even opened a small cut on the corner of Mayweather’s left eye and raised a welt below the right orb. Still, Mayweather’s measured attack meted out enough punishment to prompt Chavez’s trainer Ronnie Shields to signal surrender between rounds nine and 10.

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