Rubén Olivares, one of the greatest Mexican fighters of all time is celebrating 53 years of having been crowned WBC bantamweight champion.
It was at The Forum of Inglewood, in California, where he overwhelmed the magnificent Australian boxer Lionel Rose in the fifth round to win the crown.
A veritable pandemonium from some sections of the delighted, and boisterously enthusiastic crowd, with the victory of the flamboyant hard hitting Mexican, who had started to etch his name in the history books.
The match took place on August 22, 1969, in a battle scheduled for 15 rounds, like all the fights of that time, and presented by a genius of the pugilistic business, George Parnassus.
The place was impressively brand new, as it was inaugurated only a few months previously. The Referee was Larry Rozadilla, and in the corner of Olivares were the unforgettable Arturo “Cuyo” Hernández and Manuel “Chilero” Carrillo, not only partners, but his great and loyal friends. Ruben was just 20 years old, his rival 21.
The formidable fighter came to the throne surrounded by authentic feats. One of them – which should never have happened, as he got into the great final of the golden gloves tournament with his jaw broken, an injury he suffered in his previous battle. But won the bout in less than a round!
As a pro everything started sensationally. Most of the time he won by knockout, facing more than a dozen world champions throughout his campaign, conquering the world bantamweight and featherweight championships.
Ruben won the bantamweight crown versus Lionel Rose. The Australian was declared out of the combat at 2 minutes with 24 seconds of that fateful round five. He was dropped hard in the second round once and two more times in the fifth.
In December of the previous year and on the same scenrio, Rose defended his crown against another Mexican, Chucho Castillo, defeating him by split decision in 15 pulsating give and take rounds.
Rose, born in Warragul, Australia, had sensationally dethroned the Japanese idol Masahiko “Fighting” Harada.
Rubén was born in Chilpancigo, Guerrero, on January 14, 1947. He lost the bantamweight world title and recovered it versus in Chucho Castillo. Then he lost the crown to Rafael Herrera. This happened on March 19, 1972 in the since demolished Toreo de Cuatro Caminos. It all ended by knockout at one minute and 28 seconds of round 8, when Referee Ray Solis finished the count.
Undaunted and undented, Rubén moved up to win the WBC featherweight championship. He finally “hung up the gloves,” on March 12, 1988.
Ruben’s extraordinary record towers as a monumental 89 wins; 79 of them by knockout, 13 losses and 3 draws.
For many, he’s undoubtedly the very best bantamweight of all time. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame of Canastota, New York.
Ruben, our warmest congratulations on behalf the WBC, and our President, Mauricio Sulaimán.
You are a Champion of Champions.