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Pictorial History of Boxing's Jr. Welterweight Division

Updated on April 30, 2017

Legends of The Sport

Julio Cesar Chavez was 89-0-1 before suffering his first defeat. He beat some top notch opposition during that run.
Julio Cesar Chavez was 89-0-1 before suffering his first defeat. He beat some top notch opposition during that run. | Source
Aaron " The Hawk" Pryor had a relentless pressure style in the squared circle. He never seemed to tire and run out of stamina.
Aaron " The Hawk" Pryor had a relentless pressure style in the squared circle. He never seemed to tire and run out of stamina. | Source

Who is The Best Fighter?

Who is the best junior welterweight boxer ever?

See results

Jr. Welterweight Kingpins

Oscar De La Hoya beat Julio Cesar Chavez twice in the Jr. Welterweight division.
Oscar De La Hoya beat Julio Cesar Chavez twice in the Jr. Welterweight division. | Source
Two All-Time great prepare to do battle. Henry Armstrong and Barney Ross.
Two All-Time great prepare to do battle. Henry Armstrong and Barney Ross. | Source
Wilfred Benitez, seen here fighting Sugar Ray Leonard, is the youngest champion in boxing history winning the title at 17.
Wilfred Benitez, seen here fighting Sugar Ray Leonard, is the youngest champion in boxing history winning the title at 17. | Source

Top Ten Junior Welterweight Greats

1. Julio Cesar Chavez: J.C. Superstar had a great chin, crippling body attack and a nonstop pressure style that was a joy to watch. He beat Roger Mayweather by knockout to win the 140 pound laurels. Chavez defended his championship 12 times before losing it while holding an 89-0-1 record. He regained the title and made four more defenses before his true decline set in. His best victories in this division came against: Meldrick Taylor, Mayweather, Hector Camacho, Greg Haugen, Terrance Ali and Tony Lopez.

2. Aaron Pryor: The Hawk was a relentless whirlwind of constant punches. He had knockout power and unlimited stamina. Pryor held the Jr. Welterweight crown from 1980-1985 and defended it 8 times. He retired with a resume reading 39 wins, 1 loss with 35 knockouts. The biggest wins of his career was his title win over Antonio Cervantes, two knockout wins over Alexis Arguello and wins over Lennox Blackmore and Gary Hinton. Aaron Pryor could have topped this list but he retired and so on so number two is right for him.

3. Kostya Tszyu: The Thunder From Down Under is a two time jr. welterweight champ. Over the course of two reigns he defended 13 times. He was a devastating puncher who tallied a mark of 31-2 with 25 knockouts. Tszyu was a place puncher who rarely wasted shots. His top wins came against Roger Mayweather, Rafael Ruelas, Sharmba Mitchell, Zab Judah and Jesse James Leija.

4. Barney Ross: Ross had a spectacular ring record that reads 74 wins, 4 losses and 3 draws with 22 knockouts. Ross had very little power but he was a true ring tactition. His jab, footwork and slippery defense are the stuff of legend. Ross beat Tony Canzoneri for the title and made six defenses. His best accomplishments came by beating Canzoneri (twice), Billy Petrolle, Frankie Klick, Jimmy McLarnin, Ceferino Garcia and Baby Joe Gans.

5. Wilfred Benitez: El Radar became the youngest champion in boxing history by winning the 140 pound belt from Antonio Cervantes at only 17 years old. Benitez defended his crown three times while also winning seven non title bouts. He had speed that compared to Sugar Ray Leonard and unbelievable reflexes and boxing skills. His best wins were over Cervantes, Tony Petronelli, Bruce Curry(twice) and Vernon Lewis.

6. Antonio Cervantes: Cervantes made ten defenses of the 140 pound strap during his prime. He was very heavy handed although somewhat flat footed. His final tally was 91-12-3 with 44 knockouts. Cervantes had some great wins but his best came against Niccolino Locche, Alfonso Frazer, Esteban De Jesus and Saoul Mamby.

7. Niccolino Locche: El Intocable was jr. weelterweight champ from 1968-1972. He has a career mark standing at an impressive 117-4-14 with a paultry 14 knockouts. Locche beat Carlos Hernandez for the crown and defended it four times and also won 10 non title bouts during his reign. He was a light puncher but a fast, accurate one with a great jab and a slippery defense. His top wins were over Hernandez, Antonio Cervantes and Joao Henrique.

8. Oscar De La Hoya: The Golden Boy had a short but deadly run through this weight class. He stopped Julio Cesar Chavez (96-1-1)in 4 rounds to win the championship and then pounded on the 41-0 Miguel Angel Gonzalez in defense of the title. De La Hoya had power, speed and he was fleet of foot in this division. Some people feel De La Hoya is over rated but not in the 140 pound weight division. The Golden Boy showed speed, power and reflexes at this point in his career. De La Hoya was tall and his reach was long and he used it to his advantage in the 140 pound weight class.

9. Tony Canzoneri: Canzoneri had a resume reading 137-24-10 with 44 knockouts to his credit. He flattended Jackie Kid Berg in 3 for the title and four times including several non title wins. He wore you down with subtle aggression. Although he was not a power puncher he could string together viscious combinations. His best victories were over Jackie Berg (twice), Kid Chocolate, Billy Petrolle and Cecil Payne. Canzoneri never ducked any competition and on his best day he was nearly impossible to conquer.

10. Meldrick Taylor: The Kid had amazing hand and foot speed. He knocked out Buddy McGirt in three rounds for the championship and defended the crown twice plus he won three non title bouts as well. His best win came against McGirt and he also gave undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez all he could handle for 12 rounds before losing in the final few seconds. Taylor was the total package as far as speed, reflexes and heart were concerned.

J.C. Chavez's Top Jr. Welterweight Wins

Roger Mayweather
Hector Camacho
Meldrick Taylor
Greg Haugen
Frankie Randall
Sammy Fuentes
Terrance Ali
Tony Lopez
 
 
 
 
Eight of Julio Cesar Chavez's biggest victories in the 140 pound weight division.

Julio Cesar Chavez vs Oscar De La Hoya

Oscar De La Hoya beat Julio Cesar Chavez twice winning both bouts by T.K.O.
Oscar De La Hoya beat Julio Cesar Chavez twice winning both bouts by T.K.O. | Source

Five More 140 Pound Greats

1. Jackie Kid Berg

2. Miguel Cotto

3. Juan Coggi

4. Ricky Hatton

5. Frankie Randal

King Kostya!

Kostya Tszyu knocks out Zab Judah in two rounds to unify the Jr. Welterweight crown in a minor upset.
Kostya Tszyu knocks out Zab Judah in two rounds to unify the Jr. Welterweight crown in a minor upset. | Source

Unified Boxing Rules

These rules are governed by the ABC or Association of Boxing Commissions and are only used during title bouts.

1. Only the referee can stop the contest.

2. Boxer can't be saved by the bell in any round including the 12th and final.

3. If a fighter is knocked down he will get the mandatory 8 count before action resumes.

4. Accidental Headbutts go to the scorecards as long as 4 rounds of the bout have been completed.

5. No three knockdown rule.

Aaron Pryor Highlight Reel

Kostya Tszyu Highlight Reel

Birthplace of Aaron Pryor

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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