Within the anecdote, I found another very important date in the life of the World Boxing Council and Don José.
The Azteca Stadium was the epicenter of a feat that remains in history as the all-time record for greatest paid attendance at a boxing event.
It happened on February 20, 1993 in Mexico City and there it was recorded in all history books including the pages of the British “Guinness” Book of Records.
The great star of that fabled afternoon/night was our champion Julio César Chávez, who defended the super lightweight world title recognized by our organization, against the American challenger Greg Haugen, whom he defeated by technical knockout in the fifth round, when Referee Joe Cortez stepped in, to save battered Greg.
Until that moment Judges Mexican Gelasio Pérez, American Marty Denkin and the South Korean Dae-Gun Chung had Julio César ahead in the scores anyway.
The fight was all Chávez, who throughout was superior, irresistible and unstoppable, as he was thunderously cheered on by a vast audience, which packed the seats, boxes, stalls and everywhere. Julio outfought, outslugged, overwhelmed, subdued and completely subjugated his rival
Tickets to see Julio César Chávez were sold out a few weeks before. All people wanted to see his supreme moment of him as champion.
The promoter of the show was Don King, my dad’s great friend, who was accustomed to witness tremendous success. Don looked down from ring, into a vast welling sea of 132,274 spectators anxiously waiting. Four thousand were admitted for free, at the last moment
Don King with his unique booming laugh, savored the satisfaction of that wondrous and incredible sporting backdrop, created on his canvass. One of the very finest fight night spectaculars of his flamboyant and fabulous career as a great and historic promoter.
After having witnessed and surveyed his extraordinary success, he took a seat in his front row seat, accompanied by Emilio Diez Barroso, in those days one of the main leaders of Televisa, and friend of Don José.
For Julio César that night was the tenth defense of the thirteen he made when he was super lightweight champion. He was at the zenith of his powers!
The Mexican, who was the best fighter that has been seen in that division, entered the ring resplendent, undefeated and ready to fight for HIS adoring fans. While Haugen came from two important commitments against Héctor “Macho” Camacho, in which they had divided wins, both times via split decision.
In addition, the American arrived with more than enough merits, as he had been world champion at lightweight on two occasions and once in the higher super lightweight category , which is not common to see in boxing, but nevertheless he faced one of the most important champions in the boxing history.
Greg entered the ring, all pumped up and defiant, to the strains of Bruce Springsteen`s song: Born in the USA, unafraid of the truly daunting juggernaut challenge that lay ahead.
This date is undoubtedly one of the most important in the world of boxing of all time. Don King shaped and created a card that had not been seen before neither here nor anywhere else, with a total of four fights in which world championships were at stake. Absolutely extraordinary!
This Included: Ghanaian Azumah Nelson, who defended his super featherweight title against Mexican Gabriel Ruelas. In another match Terry Norris of the United States also retained his super welterweight championship. The other title fight was starred by Michael Nunn successfully defending the super middleweight title.
Twenty eight years have since flashed by, and the Guinness Record has remained there for the history of world boxing, which at least in the Azteca Stadium will not with such magic be conjured again, because there was a reduction of seats in an structural alteration that they did in this majestic setting.