On Wednesday, we lost one of the greatest boxing warriors of all time, when Bobby Chacon died at age 64 in Riverside, California, while under hospice care for dementia. Chacon enjoyed a long career at the top of the sport, competing in some of the most violent ring battles of the 1970s and early 1980s. He was a fighter who rewarded the fans every time for buying a ticket or tuning in.
And now he is yet the latest reminder of the gruesome cost many fighters pay to achieve that sort of status.
Chacon turned professional in 1972. He was a West Coast favorite throughout his career–a handsome, fearless brawler. He fought some of the greatest names of his era, including Ruben Oliveres, Alex Arguello, Chucho Castillo and Ray Mancini. He gave Danny Lopez his first professional loss.
Chacon’s name will be linked forever to Rafael “Bazooka” Limon. They fought four times between 1975 and 1982. Lima won the first bout, in December 1975. The second bout, in April 1979, was draw. The third bout took place just 11 months later, with Chacon winning by split decision.
The fourth fight between the two took place in December 1982, with the WBC super featherweight title up for grabs. Chacon came back from two knockdowns, in Rounds 3 and 10, and dropped Limon in the 15th and final frame, to secure a razor-close unanimous decision. The bout was named Fight of the Year by The Ring. Chacon also won Comeback Fighter of the Year honors.
Chacon also took part in the 1983 Fight of the Year, when he avenged a previous loss to Cornelius Boza-Edwards. In their first fight, Boza-Edwards forced Chacon to quit on his stool after Round 13. In the 1983 rematch, Chacon knocked his rival down three times, climbed off the canvas once himself, and came away with a 12-round unanimous decision.