The date was May 24, 1974 when Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon and Danny “Little Red” Lopez met in the ring for a long awaited and most anticipated bout between two Southern California rising stars. I was there that night ringside and sitting next to me was HBO Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel – who at that time was a sportscaster for KNBC channel 4 in Los Angeles. The mega match was promoted by “the first lady of boxing” Aileen Eaton and was held at the L.A. Sports Arena with a crowd of over 16,000 in attendance. Chacon was 23-1 entering the fight and Lopez was a perfect 23-0 with 21 of those bouts ending by knockout.
The two fighters lived up to all the hype and staged an action packed fight up to the ninth round, where Chacon scored a spectacular knockout stopping the previously undefeated Lopez in 48 seconds of that round. Both would go on to win world championships, Chacon the WBC Featherweight (1974-75) and the WBC Super Featherweight (1982-84) titles and Lopez the WBC Featherweight (1976-80) title.
Knowing both of these champions personally, I am happy to announce that they are the best of friends and hold the highest respect for each other. What’s amazing is that fight fans still talk and rave about their fight – 38 years ago!