Chacon (born November 28, 1951, in Pacoima, California) is an
American former two-time world boxing champion.
turned professional in 1972 and won his first 19 fights, including
a win against former champion Jesus Castillo. Fourteen months into
his professional career, Chacon faced world champion Ruben Olivares
but lost the bout when Olivares scored a ninth round knock out.
suffering his first defeat against Olivares, Chacon won his next four
bouts, then faced off against cross town rival and future champion
Danny Lopez. Chacon outboxed Lopez and stopped him in the ninth round.
On September 7, 1974, Chacon won the vacant WBC Featherweight
title by defeating former WBA Junior Lightweight champion Alfredo
Marcano in nine rounds at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles.
During his first period as a world champion, Chacon got to meet, and
like, what many refer to as the sweet life. He became an alcoholic,
and he loved partying. His clashes with law became matters of public
knowledge, and his life went on a wild downward spiral.
lost his tile in his second defense against arch rival Ruben Olivares.
Almost immediately after his loss against Olivares, he fought the
first of his four fight rivalry with another world champion, Rafael
"Bazooka" Limon. They would engage in what some boxing experts and
historians have described as one of the fiercest and most spectacular
boxing rivalries in history. Limon beat Chacon in their first bout
by a decision.
Chacon then scored nine straight wins, leading
him to a third match with Olivares. This time, Chacon defeated Olivares
in their 12 round bout by a decision. In Chacon's next fight, he lost
an upset decision to Arturo Leon. Chacon rebounded by scoring victories
over Ignacio Campos, Augie Pantellas, Gerald Hayes and Shig Fukuyama.
He then fought to a technical draw in a rematch against Rafael Limon.
In November 1979, Chacon received a shot at the WBC title, versus
world champion Alexis Arguello. Arguello defeated him by a devastating
knockout after Chacon suffered a bad cut in the seventh round.
1980, Chacon had only one fight, but it was a significant one. He
beat Limon in their third bout, and the WBC once again made him their
number one challenger.
In 1981, Arguello had left the title vacant
and gone up in weight to pursue the world's Lightweight title. Limon
then beat Idelphonso Bethelmy by a knockout in 15 in Los Angeles to
win the WBC world Jr. Lightweight championship. In his first title
defense, he lost it by a decision to Ugands's Cornelius Boza Edwards,
who, in turn, defended his title against Chacon on his first defense.
In a televised bout, Edwards retained the world title by a knockout
in the thirteenth round.
Chacon would go on to win five in a
row in 1982, including a rematch victory over Arturo Leon, which kept
him as the number one challenger, but then a dramatic development
outside the ring would change his life forever: Chacon's wife, Valorie
Chacon, flew to Hawaii on February of that year, hoping to convince
him to leave boxing and move there if she found them good jobs. She
was able to find a job, but unable to convince him to join her in
Hawaii, so she flew back. She pleaded for him to leave the sport but
wasn't able to convince him to do so, and one night before he boxed
Salvador Ugalde, she grabbed a rifle and shot herself, dying instantly.
Chacon went through with the fight and KO'ed Ugalde in the third round.
He dedicated his win to his deceased wife.
Two more victories
would follow, and then came his fourth and final bout with Limon.
Limon had regained the world's Jr. Lightweight title by beating Rolando
Navarrete by a knockout in 12 rounds. Navarrete, for his part, had
won the title by beating Edwards by a knockout in five in Italy.