Written by Tré Berry III | 01/29/2021
All great things must come to an end, and what took place on this date, January 29th, 1994, “El Gran Campeón” Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (89-0-1, 77KO👊) had his 89 win, unbeaten reign snapped as he lost his first fight to enigmatic, talented boxer 🇺🇸Frankie “The Surgeon” Randall (48-2-1, 39KO👊), who lifted the RING & WBC Junior-Welterweight Titles away from the mighty Mexican warrior.
While the entire world (minus 3 blind judges) witnessed boxing savant 🥇🇺🇸Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker not only beat, but dominate Chavez, Julio was fortunate to still have his belts in his possession once the 💨smoke cleared. Nonetheless, Julio of course had long solidified himself as a legend in the sport of boxing, and to beat him, it would take someone special, or special circumstances to knock him off of his pillar.
It turned out to be both on this night for Randall, who came in determined to beat the lofty 🧮18-to-1 odds that were placed by Vegas. Frankie in large fought a very cerebral fight, constantly changing direction and making use of the sizable ring that night, forcing Chavez to constantly readjust.
Randall would get Julio’s respect early on, landing the power in sequences, yet sticking to his guns in large part on the outside, not allowing himself to get engulfed into the pitfalls that 🥇🇺🇸Meldrick Taylor fell in during his fight with Chavez. Frankie first tasted the vaunted power that Julio had to offer up in the 4th round, and was momentarily wobbled, but he didn’t fold, nor was he taken off of his game, or his objective.
Chavez knew he had some ground to pick up after a slow, lethargic start in the first 5 rounds, so he came out in his workmanlike seek and destroy mode in the 6th, working more in the kitchen of Frankie Randall, who was looking for a little breathing room for him to be able to get his shots off.
A feverish exchange towards the backend of the 7th came to abrupt stop, as Referee 🕴🏾Richard Steele deducted a point from Chavez for going south of the border, after multiple warnings of low blows landed in previous stanzas. The round ended with the same level of action that took place prior to the point deduction, and the swell of the crowd at the 🎰MGM Grand roared in its approval of the action.
The 8th round was a gut-check for the surgeon, as Chavez amped the pressure up, but Frankie somehow matched his intensity, and exceeded his will in those exchanges, which was a rarity for an opponent to do to Julio throughout his career. It was safe to say that now by this point, Randall fully believed in his chances to win this fight.
Chavez staged a bit of a rally in the 9th frame, working the body of the aspiring #1 challenger, hoping to slow him down for the Championship rounds. In the first half of the 11th, another point was taken from Chavez for a low blow blended into his combination punching. By this point, you could see the 🍲boiling over frustration from Chavez and his dismay after working so hard to try and get back in the fight.
It was then that it happened – Ol’ Frankie landed a perfect right cross that dropped the iron-chined Chavez on his back, on the canvas for the first time in 90 fights. The master at sailing through 🌊tough waters, Julio’s 🛥️boat had gone overboard, and the palpable feeling to the watchers at home, and throughout the arena was that this was finally going to be the night where Chavez would “officially” see his first loss.
Frankie made sure of it, by constantly sticking and moving, while a befuddled Chavez, exhausted, and perhaps still stinging from that knockdown had nothing else to offer up. As the fight went the full 🛎️12 round limit, Frankie celebrated, knowing that he won the fight, but alas, the Whitaker decision loomed, so we waited for the official judges verdict to make sure they awarded the right man – and this time…they did.
Though the Split-Decision verdict was worry-some, Frankie Randall, at the age of 32, and in his first ever Title fight, forever etched himself into 🎞️boxing lore, dethroning the long-reigning 5X, 3 division World Champion, and brownie points, being the first one to floor Chavez in his career.
Frankie was gracious enough to give Julio a rematch, but no matter what happened from that point forth, Frankie in this fight had achieved something that could never be taken away from him, and he carried that moment for the rest of his life. We just recently lost him in December 2020, rest easy Champ.