Salvador Sánchez Narváez (January 26, 1959 - August 12, 1982) was a Mexican boxer born in the town of Santiago Tianguistenco, Estado de México. Many of his contemporaries as well as boxing writers believe that, had it not been for his premature death, Sanchez could have gone on to become the greatest Featherweight boxer of all time. He is also the uncle of Salvador Sánchez II.
Sánchez started his professional at the age of 16, as a teenager (after a brief amateur career consisting of reportedly 4 amateur bouts) he started piling up wins against tough Mexican opposition. His first fight of note came in his 19th professional fight against the Mexican bantamweight champion Antonio Becerra. Becerra proved far too experienced for the young Sánchez, dropping him in the first round, en route to a 12 round split decision. This would turn out to be Sánchez's only loss suffered during his career. Sánchez was knocked down for the first time against Becerra and has only been knocked down once more in the fifth round against Juan Escobar, whom Sánchez fought to a draw in his 22nd fight.
Sánchez kept on fighting and moved to the Featherweight division. Soon he had beaten people like the Puerto Rican featherweight champion Felix Trinidad Sr., on his way to securing a title shot at world champion Danny "Little Red" Lopez, a popular TV fighter of the late 1970s who was an impressive fighter and had won some spectacular fights against the likes of former world champion David Kotei (twice), Juan Malvares and Mike Ayala. Confident and hard to beat, Lopez was beaten by the 21 year old Sánchez, who knocked out the defending champion in 13 rounds in Phoenix, Arizona, United States on February 2, 1980. Sanchez defended his title for the first time with a 15 round unanimous decision against Ruben Castillo (47-1). Thinking it was just a case of 'beginner's luck' (as it was Sánchez's first world title fight ever), Lopez looked for a rematch and this he got, in Las Vegas. This time Sánchez defeated Lopez by 14th round TKO. In his next fight, he defeated Patrick Ford (15-0).
On December 13, 1980, Sánchez defeated future champion Juan Laporte by unanimous decision. Sánchez then defended his title against Roberto Castanon (43-1-0) and scored a win over Nicky Perez (50-3-0). Then undefeated World Jr Featherweight champion Wilfredo Gómez (32-0-1) went up in weight and challenged Sánchez. Sánchez retained the crown by a knockout in round eight on August 21, 1981, in Las Vegas, and Gómez had to return to the Jr. Featherweight division.
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