Some notable boxers, mostly hard-luck flyweights from El Barrio de Tepito, have come out of Mexico City. Among them were the legendary Kid Azteca Villanueva, El Púas (Barbed Wire) Olivares, and El Ratón (The Mouse) Macías. If you go to Tepito today, there is still a boxing gym, where young men – and even women – who possess little more than hope spar with each other. Yet in the past few years there has been no regularly scheduled venue for what A.J. Liebling called “the sweet science.” You could only get tickets for the occasional amateur Golden Gloves bouts.
Photo by John Stark
Until recently. For the past few months, at the Foro Scotiabank on Avenida Moliere in Polanco, every other Wednesday night there have been professional boxing matches. Ringside seats cost only 300 pesos, and there is waiter service with both food and drink. The other night, the most exciting fights were the four-rounders on the undercard. Perhaps because they had so little time to demonstrate their mettle, most of the fighters gave it their all.
The main event was supposed to be a ten-rounder with Osvaldo “Chucky” Razón pitted against Samuel “Torito” García. “El Chucky” was the favorite and, indeed, García -- who looked like one of the guys who collects garbage from the back of the truck that passes by my street each morning -- entered the ring with the expression of a man who has just swallowed a bad oyster. For the first three or four rounds, the fight appeared to be choreographed for a maximum of footwork and a minimum of damage, but then “El Chucky” seemed to remember why he was there and put a little pressure on García.
After seven rounds, “Torito” called it quits without even haven been knocked down. (They don’t make them like they used to. At least Roberto Durán was willing to take a lot of punishment before saying, "No más.") Pictured above are “El Chucky” and the most important members of his entourage.