39 years ago, a young African fighter received a starting opportunity against the most dominant featherweight champion at the time named Salvador Sánchez. There was little time he had to prepare since it was something that came up for the moment, but even so he was not going to turn his back on such an unexpected challenge.
Needless to say, that young man with only 13 fights waged a war that made the champion sweat, who culminated the hostilities with a knockout in the 15th round. It was the ninth defense of the featherweight title that the Mexican had made. Despite the defeat, the African left a good taste in the mouths of the attendees and those who run the business. Three weeks later Sánchez dies in a spectacular traffic accident, leaving the title vacant.
Years after this Azumah Nelson, (name of that African warrior) expressed his regret and what he would have wanted:
“Salvador Sánchez was a great champion, a great fighter, we fought and he won the fight. Three weeks later I found out about the accident and I was very sad. I traveled to Mexico for his funeral and I hope he rests in perfect peace. I wish it would have lasted longer to make another fight and forge a friendship, but God called him to his side and against that nothing can be done ”.
For those who do not know, Azumah Nelson is considered the best African boxer in history. He was a featherweight and super featherweight champion. He made 19 defenses between both belts, won 18 world title bouts.
Among his victims is the great Wilfredo Gómez whom he ugly knocked out, former champions Juan Laporte, Gabriel Ruelas, Jesse James Leija and Genaro Hernández. He has been a member of the Hall of Fame since 2004. Without a doubt a great boxer and a better human being.