A salute to Cristian Mijares








By James Blears

In the serious world of professional boxing Crisitan Mijares has not only been a diamond refracting and reflecting rays of sunshine, but also a true gem during his extraordinary and eventful twenty four years career!

Invited to his home turf of Gomez Palacios in May of 2008, for the much vaunted unification fight against WBA super flyweight supremo Alexander Munoz, back then, I asked WBC champion Cristian why he was going to win?  He characteristically replied that he was more skilled, a more accurate puncher….and also…much more handsome than Alexander, bursting into a peal of merry laughter!

Even at his very best, Cristian could sometimes be just a touch too flamboyant.  Fighting for the vacant WBC super bantamweight crown, against Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas in 2013, at Mexico City’s Arena, Cristian decked Vic  with a beautifully timed left hook in the twelfth and final round.  A weary and dazed Victor was about to be vanquished, but Cristian then extravagantly, infuriatingly and wastefully frittered away precious seconds…by dancing a jig!  Cristian’s lost the fight on a split decision.

Paradoxically one of Cristian’s best late career performances was boxing his way out of real trouble, edging back from a precipice, against a younger, bigger, towering and stronger Leo Santa Cruz, at the MGM for the WBC super bantamweight crown in 2014.  Cristian lost a UD, but showed accumulated smarts, wiles and intelligence.  

In a fabulous and long career, Cristian fought 70 times, notching 59 wins, including 27 KO’s, nine losses and two draws.  He successfully defended the WBC super flyweight championship seven times.  One of his most memorable victories was a bloody encounter with almost equally extrovert Jorge “El Travieso” Arce in 2007.  The ego had landed!

Tagging along with Promoter Pepe Gomez of Cancun Boxing, Cristian came along to the weekly Martes a Café presser at the Railway Union HQ in the heart of Mexico City.  Resplendent in a black a red check jacket with large black elbow patches, perhaps reminiscent of all the elbow grease he’s expended over the years, the still youthful Cristian, who’s now knocking on thirty six, was still sporting a still swelled up “Hooter,” of which WC Fields would have been inordinately proud!  A souvenir from the final and bruising encounter of his fabled career.  

Rather than a nice easy workout, he’d chosen dangerous former champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr from Puerto Rico, who promptly ruined the script by decking him in the third, with a huge right hook, which badly broke his nose.

After the count of ten, the ripples had dispersed and the blood had been wiped away, Wilfredo knelt down and genuinely sympathized with Cristian, who soon recovered enough to plaintively  ask: “You’re still coming to the celebration party aren’t you?”

What wonderful humanity, humility and sportsmanship!  What a marked contrast to the petulant attitude of some soccer players, who after being defeated have to literally force themselves to briefly and dismissively shake hands  with the victors, decline to swop shirts, discard their runners up medals and basically…sulk like spoiled children!   

In the more macho World of the sixties President John F Kennedy once tartly observed: “To be a good winner, you have to be a gentleman. And to be a good loser, you have to be a man!”

During several sparkling minutes before the press conference started, Cristian told us about his life in the Sport.  From a boxing family, it had all started with him watching his uncles training in the gym.  

The first time his Uncle Ricardo asked him to strike a boxing stance, Cristian who’s naturally right handed, decided he was a lot more comfortable as a southpaw, and that’s how it remained thereafter. By twelve years old he was fighting as an amateur and at the tender age of 16 Cristian fought his pro debut, as a mini mosca!

Cristian talks about the blood, sweat and tears plus discipline and the dedication that  brought him success in the ring, which he now plans to focus towards the next  phase of his life.  One of his brothers is an architect and they plan to work together on construction projects.

Cristian also wants to give back to Boxing, which has given him so much, by helping youngsters in his home State of Durango.

Recognizing a Boxing Great, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman presented Cristian with a designer Green and Gold Championship wrist band and a magnificent framed plaque entitled: “Congratulations with Pride.”

Cristian said: “I want to thank the WBC who gave me my first real title opportunity in Boxing.  For me the highlight of my career was winning my first championship in Japan.  Many thought it was going to be impossible, but I didn’t, and I triumphed thanks be to God.

“I’m now thirty six.  That’s rather old for Boxing from which I’ve retired, but it’s so young for life!”


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