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Chavez Stops Rosario, Takes Lightweight Title

November 22, 1987|Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Julio Cesar Chavez knew early Saturday night that he was going to be the new World Boxing Assn. lightweight champion.

Chavez, who battered Edwin Rosario until the fight was stopped in the 11th round with the champion half-blind and bloodied, said he realized in the second round that the fight was his.

"I knew right then I was winning because he hit me and I hardly felt it," said Chavez.

Chavez, now 55-0, credited his strategy of digging inside to Rosario's ribs with his left hook as the key to the bout.

The body punches, the new champion said, proved to be too much for Rosario.

"I hit him in the belly and his mouth was wide open," Chavez said. "From the beginning, I had the strategy to work to the body and to go inside and stay close."

Chavez's effectiveness on the inside was shown by fight statistics that showed him connecting on 61% of his 743 punches. Rosario, from Puerto Rico, threw 731 punches but connected with just 36% of them.

But it was Chavez's strength as well as his accuracy that turned the fight into a lopsided affair. The Mexican challenger, even though he was moving up in weight from 130 pounds, was simply too strong for Rosario.

Rosario was bleeding heavily from several cuts when his corner threw in the towel and referee Richard Steele stopped the fight at 2:36 of the 11th round.

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