35 years since the death of Salvador Sanchez

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35 years since the death of Salvador Sanchez

A 35 años del adiós a Salvador Sánchez,
35 years since the death of Salvador Sanchez.

In the early hours of August 12, 1982, (2 am), on the road that goes from Queretaro to San Jose Iturbide, Guanajuato, Mexico, the world champion of the featherweights Salvador Sanchez was involved in the tragic crash of two vehicles at high speed. He died instantly when his Porsche 928 got stuck under the back part of a truck. His face struck the steering wheel and was hit in one of his eyebrows but the worst part was that the large vehicle crushed down the roof of his sports car, which caused him a fatal wound to his skull.

Salvador had already defended his WBC featherweight crown on ten occassions. He had conquered it on February 2, 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona, when he knocked out Danny “Coloradito” Lopez in the 13th round. From that moment on, he faced several highly qualified challengers, including a rematch with Lopez himself, a memorable fight against the Puerto Rican Wilfredo Gomez, a tough combat against Californian Ruben Castillo and a dramatic final fight against Azuma Nelson from Ghana. This would be the last fight of his career. It was on July 21, 1982 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The referee was Tony Perez.

It was announced that Salvador would give a rematch to the Puerto Rican Juan Laporte on September 15, 1982. He had already started his preparation with trainer Cristobal Rosas and his assistant “El Patilla”. His biographers tell that the champion received a phone call at his training camp the afternoon of the 11th of August. He became restless, took the keys of his Porsche 928 and left with the excuse that he was going out to get some implements to improve his sound equipment. Further investigations revealed that Salvador visited several entertainment sites in Queretaro and was surrounded by friends until late that night.

The Mexican dawn rose with the fateful news. Salvador Sanchez, the champion, had died in a car accident. His trainer Cristobal Rosas went to the city morgue the next day and with a tearful face he recognized the body. The funeral in Santiago Tianguistenco, his hometown, was attended by a multitude. It´s been 35 years and as time goes by it seems that the boxing fanbase increases the adoration for the great champion, Salvador Sanchez.


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