'Blood-and-Guts' Boxer Dies of Dementia at 64

Bobby Chacon had thrilling career, lots of personal tragedies
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 8, 2016 12:00 AM CDT
In this Oct. 26, 1995, photo, former world lightweight boxing champion Bobby Chacon leaves a Los Angeles court.   (AP)
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(Newser) – Hall of Fame boxer Bobby Chacon has died under hospice care for dementia. He was 64. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005, the former WBC featherweight and super featherweight champion went 59-7-1 with 47 knockouts in a 16-year pro career, the AP reports. The California native engaged in numerous memorable fights, including victories over rivals Rafael "Bazooka" Limon, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, and Danny Lopez. "One of the most exciting fighters in the history of the West Coast, an amazing blood-and-guts brawler who took on the best fighters in three divisions," says Ricky Farris, president of the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.

Chacon, nicknamed "Schoolboy" because he turned pro while studying at Cal State Northridge, endured horrible personal tragedies both during and after his career. His wife, Valerie, killed herself in March 1982, but he elected to fight the next day, stopping Salvador Ugalde in the third round. His son, Bobby Jr., was killed in 1991 in a shooting attributed to gang violence. After his career ended in June 1988, Chacon's memory, health, and fortunes all faded. He showed numerous signs of pugilistic dementia and struggled with substance abuse, but he still occasionally made public appearances at local boxing cards. Officials say he died with his family present at his bedside. (Read more boxing stories.)

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