Kostya Tszyu vs. Julio Cesar Chavez

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2000-07-29 : Kostya Tszyu 139½ lbs beat Julio Cesar Chavez 140 lbs by TKO at 1:28 in round 6 of 12


As expected, Chavez suffers lopsided loss
Associated Press, June 29, 2000

PHOENIX -- Even Julio Cesar Chavez, the great Mexican warrior, had to admit the truth.

In a fight as one-sided as predicted, Kostya Tszyu defended his World Boxing Council super lightweight title Saturday night with a sixth-round technical knockout of Chavez.

Afterward, the 38-year-old Chavez admitted his time had passed.

"It looks like it's time for me to retire. It's time for me to leave," Chavez said in the ring after the fight.

Chavez held his ground early on, but Tszyu took control with constant left-handed jabs and an occasional strong right to Chavez's face.

In the fifth round, Chavez slipped and fell, and moments later Tszyu opened a cut on Chavez's forehead with a combination of four left-hand jabs and a right.

Despite the loud support of the crowd, Chavez was no match for the 30-year-old champion in the sixth round, as Tszyu knocked Chavez down with a right hand. Chavez, a six-time world champion in four weight classes, staggered to his feet and fought on.

But a moment later, Tszyu had him pinned to the ropes, pounding Chavez repeatedly, when referee Bobby Ferrara stopped the fight.

"The punch was not hard. It was just the timing," Tszyu said of the punch that dropped Chavez to the canvas for only the second time in his career.

The crowd booed loudly and threw objects at the ring but it was obvious Chavez was finished.

"I have seen Chavez fight many, many times against many, many great fighters," Tszyu said. "I would get into slow-motion in my head and I would know what he was going to do. I studied so hard."

The fight had been seen as such a mismatch that Las Vegas bookmakers would not take bets on it.

"Chavez is a great warrior," Tszyu said. "People know me now around the world because I fought a legend and won."

Each fighter earned $1.25 million.

Promoters listed the crowd at 14,100, almost all of them emphatic Chavez supporters who chanted "Cha-vez," "Julio," and "Mexico" in the early part of the fight.

Tszyu, who was born in Russia and then moved to Australia eight years ago, improved to 25-1-1 with 21 knockouts. Chavez is 103-5-2, but has lost two of his last three fights.

The fight initially was scheduled for Las Vegas, but members of the Nevada state athletic commission indicated they might block it because the bout appeared to be such a mismatch.

Arizona Sen. John McCain sent Gov. Jane Hull a letter urging her to block the fight in Phoenix because of Chavez's poor showing in a loss to unheralded Willy Wise last Oct. 4.

Chavez had indicated, however, that he had trained hard for Saturday night's fight in an effort to restore his pride and dignity, and the Arizona boxing commission allowed the fight to go on.

In the main undercard fight, Hector Camacho Jr., 21, won a technical decision over South Africa's Philip Holiday. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight in the sixth round when Camacho elbowed Holiday, cutting him above the right eye. Weeks ruled the elbow was accidental and Camacho won the decision because he was ahead on the judges' cards.

Camacho improved to 29-0 with 17 knockouts.

Holiday, who felt the elbow should have been called intentional, is 36-4-1. [1]