James ĎBuddyí McGirt Vs
Julio Cesar Chavez
By Paul Concannon
of the eighties and nineties best operators collide in the latest dream
bout. Combine the awesome attacking force of the Mexican Chavez with the
sublime skills of the New Yorker McGirt and you have a recipe for a superb
blend of styles. The pity is, of course, that Buddy and Julio didnít
meet for real, for now we will just have to make do with what might have
James "Buddy" McGirt
Record: 72-6-1 (48)
Style and strengths:
Fast fluid boxer with old school moves, defensively cute, great on his
feet, superb counter-puncher and at his peak weight, 140 Llbs, a good
puncher too. A thinking mans fighter and now a top trainer.
welterweight he was a light puncher and towards the end of his career his
performances were hampered by a nagging shoulder injury, sometimes
struggled with the stronger pressure fighters, but knit-picking really,
McGirt was a great all-rounder.
Notable victories: Saoul
Mamby, Frank Warren, Howard Davis, Tony Baltazar, Gary Jacobs, Joe Manley,
Simon Brown, Patrizio Oliva, Genaro Leon, Pat Coleman, James Hughes.
Frankie Warren, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whittaker (twice, first decision
debatable and Whittaker was down in the second fight, both performances
hampered by rotator cuff injury), and Andrew Council.
Julio Cesar Chavez
Record: 104-5-2 (84).
Style and strengths:
Legendarily aggressive, precise pressure fighter, relentless left hooker
and body puncher, threw endless hurtful salvoes with great accuracy.
Granite jawed and durable with the very best.
to cuts and known to be a whiner when things didnít go his way.
Notable Victories: Bazooka
Limon, Mario Martinez, Ruben Castillo, Roger Mayweather (twice by
stoppage), Rocky Lockridge, Juan Laporte, Edwin Rosario, Jose Luiz
Ramirez, Sammy Fuentes, Meldrick Taylor (twice, once with two seconds to
in a bout that Taylor lead on all cards), Johnny Duplessis, Lonnie Smith,
Hector Camacho, Greg Haugen, Terrance Ali, Frankie Randall, Tony Lopez,
Giovanni Parisi, Joey Gamache and also a draw with Miguel Angel Gonzalez.
Notable Defeats: Frankie
Randall (floored and outscored Chavez in a classic shocker), Oscar De La
Hoya (twice, once on cuts once via corner retirement), also drew with
Pernell Whittaker in a bout most deemed him to have lost.
15 rounds at Junior Welterweight
both fought and won titles at different weights, undeniably both peaked in
the 140Llb division and as such, are matched at their preferred weights.
take a look in a quiet first minute or so, there is no reckless rushing
in; both are precise boxers and the footwork and movement on display is
impressive. Speculative jabs are thrown by both and 70 seconds in, Chavez
aims a hook to the ribs that is easily evaded. McGirt jabs twice and
follows through with a right that is taken on the gloves. Chavez follows
McGirt to a corner and fires a combination 20 seconds before the bell,
Buddy counters with a hook, the first clean shot of the round, Chavez
lands his own counter and Buddy Spins off the ropes. Jabs are traded until
the bell. Even round.
is an expert at cutting off the ring and closing his man down while McGirt
is fleet-footed and almost impossible to pin so it makes for intriguing
viewing in the second as each man boxes to their strengths. Defensive
wiles are evident and few punches go in cleanly. The Mexican takes most of
the flack on his gloves and arms while the American avoids most of the
hooks coming his way with subtle head movements or by dancing out of harms
way. Chavez raises the pace and scores with a jab-cross combination while
Buddy counters with an uppercut before moving out of harms way. A brief
spell of pressure perhaps just wins a tight round for the Mexican.
goes at Chavez and lands with a great right hand early in the third.
Enraged the Mexican ploughs forward and unleashes a fast barrage to the
body. McGirt counters with his dangerous left hook but the Culiacan
slugger takes the shot well and fires back in the first real trade of
leather. The crowd is roused as both score well with good shots. The New
Yorker breaks off the exchange and pops out his jab but Chavez stays on
him and aims at the mid-section followed with hooks and uppercuts to the
head. McGirt takes the sting out of the shots by rolling but they are
scoring punches. A stiff jab-right hand, left uppercut nails the Mexican
who ignores the punches and finally works over McGirt against the ropes,
Escaping briefly, McGirt lands a cracking straight right hand that sends
his opponents head back on his shoulders, Chavez lands his own left hook
and McGirts sags for a second before delightfully spinning out into ring
centre and landing another great right hand to cap a superb third round.
Chavez edges this one on workrate.
steals a similar fourth round by virtue of a constant forward motion but
he eats several good counters as the fight heats up nicely. McGirt wins
the fifth as he counters pressure with a stiff one-two all the way but
again itís tight. After five the Latin is 3-1-1 ahead, but all the
rounds have been hard to score with beautiful boxing from both corners.
taking the sixth with a good, busy three minutes, Chavez goes to sleep
slightly through the seventh and eighth enabling Buddy to counter busily
and win both rounds with some clean scoring from behind the jab. Several
two-punch combinations go although the Chavez defence is holding up well
from the majority of the shots.
picks up the pace again in the ninth and itís exciting and tough to
score, he really digs to the body and his early work downstairs seems to
have paid dividends as McGirt is slower on his feet and takes many more
stands his ground in the tenth and pays the price for trading when a
perfect left hook to the chin deposits him to the canvas. Dazed, but not
badly hurt he rises at eight and sees out the crisis with great defensive
skills. With his confidence restored he lands a perfect jab,
straight-right, left-hook combination to even the score and send the
shocked Mexican down on his back for a rare knockdown, the crowd are
loving this see-saw round. After rising at seven, he dances way for the
remaining seconds of the round.
into the eleventh itís desperately close. Both are mindful off the
knockdowns they suffered so the early moments are cautious as both work
off the jab in the centre of the ring. Getting more confident, Julio
attacks again later in the round and several good hooks go in downstairs
though Buddy once again takes the sting out of many of the head shots.
seems the body work has paid off as Chavez dominates round 12 as he stalks
and steadily works over the flagging slickster.
bruised and despondent McGirt is giving a tongue lashing by Al Certo in
his corner and responds brilliantly by taking the thirteenth with good old
fashion boxing, working behind an educated jab backed up by the uppercut
and right cross, he dishes out a boxing lesson, now itís the Mexicans
turn to look tired and discouraged as he is nailed by several flush shots.
gruelling now and the pace means that each man is taking turns to have a
good round, the early part of the fourteenth belongs to Chavez who traps
McGirt in a corner and pounds him steadily. Itís exciting stuff as the
trapped American just keeps firing counters and each man is rocked in a
thrilling sequence. Chavez wins the round with a 15 punch barrage in the
final seconds. McGirt is bruised, Chavez is cut and itís become a
the final round is great one. Chavez attacks busily for whole three
minutes and the exhausted McGirt, so desperate to win a fight of this
magnitude, stays with him and counters the combinations with single left
hooks and rights as though looking for a one punch finish. Both warriors
are nailed time after time as they let the shots go. Chavez has a big
success in the dying seconds when rocking his man with a barrage. McGirt
has the last word with a crunching right hand on the bell. The crowd roar
as the two fall into an brief embrace before returning to their corners to
await the scores.
close; the arena is hushed to a deadly silence as the totals are
announced. The first scores by a tally of 146-145, the second goes 146-144
and the final judge tabulates 145-143, all three for the winner, Julio
verdict is quite well received; in a desperately close fight most felt
that the busier Mexican just about edged the scoring. McGirt accepts the
verdict without whining and both agree to a rematch to settle the score.
Result: Chavez wins on a