Five Legendary Fights to Celebrate Cinco De Mayo

Cinco De Mayo is celebrated across North America to commemorate the victory of the Mexican army over the French empire in the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. Chief among these celebrations is the staging of one of the biggest boxing matches of the year. Promoters now utilize Cinco de Mayo weekend as a stage to showcase Mexico’s boxing superstars.

With Saul “Canelo” Alvarez facing John Ryder in a super middleweight title fight on May 6, a day after the annual celebration, ProBox TV wants to take a look back at some of the most memorable fights that have taken place on or around Cinco de Mayo.

The first of these Cinco de Mayo celebration fights took place when Julio Cesar Chavez got revenge over Frankie Randall, by technical decision, in their controversial rematch on May 7th, 1994, their bout was the headliner for Don King’s renowned “Revenge of the Rematches” card.

Julio Cesar Chavez vs Frankie Randall, May 7, 1994

The fight that would cement Cinco de Mayo as an international boxing holiday would, of course, involve proud Mexican, Julio Cesar Chavez, who had gone 90 fights undefeated before being taken down by Frankie Randall. “JC Superstar” came back less than four months later to exact sweet revenge by split technical decision after being cut above the right eye in an accidental clash of heads. The Mexican reclaimed the WBC light welterweight title and thus an enduring boxing tradition was created.

Diego Corrales vs Jose Luis Castillo, May 7, 2005

In all respects, this fight was one for the ages. This bout brought together two of the best lightweights in the world for a WBC/WBO unification fight, the vacant RING championship was on the line as well. The entire fight was fought in close, producing facial damage. Once the tenth round came, both fighters were showing signs of wear and tear, from a fast-paced, all-action fight. Castillo was cut in the left eyebrow in round five. By round seven Corrales showed bad puffs under each eye. Finally, in the 10th, Castillo got through Corrales’ defenses and dropped him twice. In the comeback to end all comebacks, Corrales’ got up and landed a nasty left hook as Castillo advanced to finish the job, he staggered and Coralles followed up with a flurry of hard punches causing the referee to stop the fight. Both fighters took a tremendous amount of punishment in what is widely considered a boxing classic.

Floyd Mayweather vs Oscar De La Hoya, May 5, 2007

Before the emergence of Floyd Mayweather as a boxing legend and prior to his transformation from “Pretty Boy” to “Money,” De La Hoya ran Cinco de Mayo like no other boxer. De La Hoya had fought on several previous Cinco de Mayo weekends, but this was a genuine 50-50 super-fight with the only star who could rival his box office stardom. The bout was close, but the cards called it by an even thinner margin. Mayweather’s famous defenses trumped the physically bigger, more technical “Golden Boy.” Mayweather won the fight by split decision, usurping De La Hoya as boxing’s biggest name. With that, “Money” took possession of the coveted Cinco de Mayo weekend slot. He would go on to fight on the holiday five more times in his career, sometimes paying homage to his Mexican fans with gloves bearing the Mexican national flag.


Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. May 7, 2016

On May 6th, 2017, the highly anticipated boxing match between Mexican fighters Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The new pride of Mexico and face of boxing, Canelo Alvarez, up against the confident son of Mexican boxing legend, Julio Cesar Chavez. The buildup to the fight had been intense, with both fighters engaging in heated trash talk in the lead-up to the bout. Its “Civil War” billing and growing resentment between the fighters only added to the hype leading up to the bout. However, when the bell rang and the two fighters stepped into the ring, it was clear that Canelo Alvarez was in a different league than his opponent. Throughout the fight, Canelo dominated Chavez Jr., landing powerful shots and leaving his opponent bruised and battered. In the end, the judges awarded Canelo a unanimous decision victory, with all three judges scoring the fight 120-108 in his favor.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Dmitry Bivol May 7, 2022

Canelo’s second loss of his professional career came via unanimous decision, at the hands of Dmitry Bivol, the WBA light heavyweight champion. With swift combinations and phenomenal defense, Bivol made it almost impossible for Alvarez to score, let alone cause any significant damage. Bivol won fairly and conclusively, exposing Alvarez as human and bolstering his own reputation as one of the best fighters in the world pound for pound.