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Pictorial History of Boxing's Jr. Lightweight Division

Updated on April 30, 2017

Legends of The Squared Circle

Julio Cesar Chavez went 89-0-1 before suffering his first professional defeat. He beat many hall of fame fighters during his career.
Julio Cesar Chavez went 89-0-1 before suffering his first professional defeat. He beat many hall of fame fighters during his career. | Source
Pretty Boy Floyd unifies the 130 pound titles by knocking out the undefeated Diego Corrales. Mayweather went undefeated in the 130 pound weight class.
Pretty Boy Floyd unifies the 130 pound titles by knocking out the undefeated Diego Corrales. Mayweather went undefeated in the 130 pound weight class. | Source

Who is The Best?

Who is the best Jr. Lightweight champion of all time?

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How Much Can They Weigh?


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Junior Lightweight Legends

1. Alexis Arguello: Arguello knocked out Ruben Olivares for the world title and held the title from 1978 till vacating to move up to lightweight in 1980. Among his victims were Olivares, Alfredo Escalera (twice), Bobby Chacon and Bazooka Limon. Arguello had vicious power at 130 pounds and he was tall, rangy and accurate. Arguello could box from long range with a stiff jab and dangerous straight right hands or pummple his opponents during up close exchanges.

2. Azumah Nelson: The Professor had knockout power, a great chin and perfect timing with his shots. This counter puncher won the 130 pound belts three different times. His greatest wins included beating Jeff Fenech, Jesse James Leija, Gabe Ruelas, Juan La Port and Calvin Grove. He made 10 defenses over the course of three reigns. Nelson was always calm, cool and collective inside the squared circle.

3. Flash Elorde: Gabriel Flash Elorde holds the record for the longest reign in this division which lasted 7 years. Elorde made 10 defenses of the title and unified the weight class during that time. He was a southpaw with a great jab and very fast foot work. His best wins came against Harold Gomez, Sandy Saddler, Joey Lopes and Kang 2- Suh. Elorde was hard to hit with more than one punch at a time.

4. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.: Pretty Boy Floyd, as he used to be called, knocked out Genaro Hernandez in 8 rounds for the championship and made 8 defenses before vacating and moving up. Mayweather was a defensive master with great speed and reflexes. His top wins in this weight class came against Hernandez, Diego Corrales and Angel Manfredy. Mayweather was at his absolute best in this weight class because he was in his prime and was a force in all areas. Mayweather would be higher ranking on this list but, he moved up to the Lightweight Division.

5. Julio Cesar Chavez: J.C. Chavez knocked out Mario Martinez in 8 rounds to claim the championship and made 9 defenses before moving up to the lightweight division. He never lost in this weight and he had a steel chin and brutal body attack. His best wins came against Roger Mayweather, Martinez, Rocky Lockridge and Juan La Porte. Chavez could adjust inside the prize ring and he always won without controversy while boxing in this division. Although thought of as a slugger, he had a very good jab and solid footwork as well.

6. Genaro Hernandez: Chicanito is a two time Jr. Lightweight World Champion who beat Daniel Londas and Azumah Nelson for his championships. He had great technical skill and had good footwork and an excellent jab. His top wins came over Nelson, Londas, Carlos Hernandez, Jorge Paez and Harold Warren. Hernandez tallied eleven defenses over the course of two total reigns. RIP Chicanito.

7. Brian Mitchell: Mitchell was a sublime boxer with a terrific jab. He retired with a resume reading 45-1-3 with 21 knockouts. He beat Alfredo Layne for the championship and made 13 total defenses of the crown. He also had a great chin and he had some solid victories. He beat Tony Lopez, Layne, Jim McDonnell and Frankie Mitchell while a Champion. His only drawback, if there was one, is that he always fought his fights on his home turf in South Africa.

8. Kid Chocolate: The Cuban Bon Bon was Cuba's first ever world champion and he beat Benny Bass in seven rounds to claim the titles. Chocolate was fast and accurate with his hands. For his time he was a great combination puncher as well. His biggest victories in this division came over Lew Feldman (For the Championship), Fidel La Barba, Seaman Tommy Watson and Frankie Wallace.

9. Ben Villaflor: Villaflor beat Alfredo Marcano by 15 round decision to take the jr. lightweight laurels and made two defenses before losing the title. He regained the crown and made an additional five defenses. He had excellent ring smarts and an excellent jab. His biggest victories have come against Kuniaki Shibata, Marcano, Hyun Chi Kim and he had a draw with Sammy Serrano.

10. Juan Manuel Marquez: Marquez is one of the best counter punchers ever and his technique is text book. Marquez beat Marco Antonio Barrera for the world title and defended it by beating Rocky Juarez before vacating to move up. Barrera was a pound for pound fighter and Rocky Juarez was undefeated when Marquez pounded them silly. Marquez has shown heart inside the ring and immense stamina during his bouts. Marquez has won championship belts ina total of four different weight classes.

The Professor Taught Lessons in The Ring

Azumah Nelson displays his WBC Championship belt. He is known as The Professor and he could end a fight at any moment.
Azumah Nelson displays his WBC Championship belt. He is known as The Professor and he could end a fight at any moment. | Source

Cornerman Essentials

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Eight important items for a trainer to have in the corner during a boxing match.

Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao 2

Manny Pacquiao won a close disputed 12 round decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in their second bout. All of their fights were very competitive and fought on even terms.
Manny Pacquiao won a close disputed 12 round decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in their second bout. All of their fights were very competitive and fought on even terms. | Source

Everlast Leather Speed Bag

Five Great Jr. Lightweight Title Bouts

1. Manny Pacquiao W12 Juan Manuel Marquez: Date- March 15, 2008.

2. Flash Elorde W15 Auburn Copeland: Date- June 23, 1962.

3. Jeff Fenech D12 Azumah Nelson: Date- June 28, 1991.

4. Alexis Arguello T.K.O. 11 Ruben Castillo: Date- January 20, 1980.

5. Tony Lopez D12 Brian Mitchell: Date- March 15, 1991.

Alexis Arguello Tribute

Great Jr. Lightweight Technicians

Alexis Arguello prepares for another round of action. He had one punch knockout in both hands and he showed it on Many occasions.
Alexis Arguello prepares for another round of action. He had one punch knockout in both hands and he showed it on Many occasions. | Source
Genaro Hernandez strikes a pose and shows off his WBC Jr. Lightweight World Title. His skills were top notch and he had excellent footwork.
Genaro Hernandez strikes a pose and shows off his WBC Jr. Lightweight World Title. His skills were top notch and he had excellent footwork. | Source
Flash Elorde defeated Sandy Saddler in a Jr. Lightweight title tilt. Both boxers are Hall of Fame legends in their own right.
Flash Elorde defeated Sandy Saddler in a Jr. Lightweight title tilt. Both boxers are Hall of Fame legends in their own right. | Source

Julio Cesar Chavez Career Highlights

Birthplace of Alexis Arguello

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • lesliebyars profile image
      Author

      Buster Johnson 3 years ago from Alabama

      Azumah Nelson knocking out Jeff Fenech shocked everyone especially after Nelson was soundly beaten the first time in a bogus draw.

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 3 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Alexis Arguello was an amazing fighter. Never had a dull bout. But back then there was a lot more talent in all weight classes. Now it's hit or miss. I had forgotten about Azumah Nelson. If I remember correctly, the first time I saw him was on NBC SportsWorld and of course, Marv Albert and Ferdie Pacheco were calling the fight. Great stuff. Voted up.