Salvador Sanchez vs. Azumah Nelson
1982-07-21 : Azumah Nelson 124 lbs lost to Salvador Sanchez 126 lbs by TKO at 1:49 in round 15 of 15
- Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA
- Referee: Tony Perez
- Judge: Tony Castellano 131-135
- Judge: Al Reid 133-132
- Judge: Artie Aidala 131-134
- WBC Featherweight Title
- Time: 1:49
- Weights: Sanchez 126; Nelson 124
Knockdowns: Nelson down once in the 7th; once in the 15th.
In a very entertaining fight with both fighters landing plenty of leather, Azumah Nelson puts on a very unexpected, entertaining slugfest. It is a war from the start with both fighters fighting at range but letting their fists fly. Nelson is hurt repeatedly with left hooks to the head, but Nelson is landing more round by round. Sanchez broke through Nelson's rampage hurt and dropped nelson with a crushing left hook. Nelson was down in the 7th round but got up (not really a surprise) and returned to the way he was fighting before the knockdown. It was virtually a phone booth fight from there on with both fighters landing plenty of hard shots. With both fighters tired going into the 15th round, Sanchez comes out with his (like) 5th wind and hurts Nelson badly with a hard right and another devestating left hook and Nelson staggers badly just before falling into a corner. Nelson rises, still hurt, and Sanchez seizes the opportunity. He goes right after him, lands a couple more serious blows and Nelson staggers more just before the referee jumps in to call a halt at the 1:47 mark of the fifteenth and final round. Sanchez showed his greatness by stopping a young and aggressive Azumah Nelson, even though Sanchez was going to win on the scorecards.
Sanchez dies shortly after this fight in an automobile accident on August 12th, 1982. In his career, he beat two future Hall-of-Famers: Wilfredo Gomez, and Azumah Nelson. He took on great opposition in beating Danny Lopez (twice), Juan Laporte (who gave Julio Cesar Chavez many problems), Ruben Castillo, Patrick Ford, and Roberto Castanon. He was a great fighter, an even better champion, and a very devestating puncher. It is good to remember Salvador "Chava" Sanchez for what he did do, even if he could've done a lot more.