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Concannon's Corner

Personal Biography

Dream Match 
James ĎBuddyí McGirt Vs 
Julio Cesar Chavez

  By Paul Concannon

Two 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 been...


James "Buddy" McGirt
Country:USA, New York
Status: Retired.
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.

Weaknesses: At 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.

Notable Defeats: 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
Country: Mexico, Culiacan
Status: Retired.
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. 

Weaknesses: Susceptible 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.

The Fight
15 rounds at Junior Welterweight

While both fought and won titles at different weights, undeniably both peaked in the 140Llb division and as such, are matched at their preferred weights.

Both 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.

Chavez 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.

McGirt 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.

Chavez 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.

After 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.

Chavez 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 clean punches.

McGirt 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.

Going 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. Julioís round.

It seems the body work has paid off as Chavez dominates round 12 as he stalks and steadily works over the flagging slickster.

A 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.

Itís 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 classic.

Fittingly, 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.

Itís 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 Cesar Chavez.

The 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 unanimous decision.