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17th March 2020
By: BOXING GURU
On this day in 1990, we witnessed ‘Thunder Meets Lightening’ – one of the greatest and most controversial boxing matches of all time. Undefeated champion Julio Cesar Chávez (68-0) was regarded as the pound for pound greatest and had won 4 championship belts by 1990. In the opposing corner, Olympic gold medallist Meldrick Taylor (24-0-1) was mounting his third defense of his IBF strap.
Despite the fighters being similar in stature and prowess, the bout was billed as ‘Thunder and Lightening’ due to the clash of different styles. Chávez, known for his punching power and aggressiveness whereas Taylor was known for his movement and having the fastest hands in boxing.
The historical fight produced one of the most intense 12 rounds of boxing, full of quality and non-stop action as well as the most shocking and controversial endings of all time. To this day fans remain split and the debate remains, did Richard Steel make the correct call with just 2 seconds left on the clock?
Steele claimed he stopped the fight because he thought Taylor could not continue and did not adequately respond in time. On the other hand, fans argue that Steele should have known how much time was left, and after such an epic battle, all Taylor needed to do was remain standing for two seconds and he would have deservedly won the fight.
From that moment, the fighters’ careers went in opposite directions. Taylor never recovered and lost the rematch four years later by eighth-round TKO. Chávez had another controversial fight in 1993 against Pernell Whitaker, which ended in a draw and his unbeaten streak stretched to 90 fights (89 wins and one draw) until he finally lost to Frankie Randall in 1994.
The fight rightly earned the ‘Fight of the Decade’ acoloade and will continue to be remembed with great admiration for years to come.
Enjoy our edited highlights below which we have struggled to cut down to 8 minutes of boxing heaven.
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