Former world champion Bobby Chacon (59-7-1, 47 KO), whose career included two world titles and legendary rivalries in the 1970s and early 1980s, and was a prominent boxing figure in the West Coast of the United States, passed away on September 7 at the age of 64.
Chacon died due to injuries sustained during a fall where he struck his head in a care facility on the morning of September 7. He had been battling brain trauma for several years. Ricky Farris, president of the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame, told the LA Times that Chacon was one of the best boxers during his time.
“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,” Farris said.
Chacon, whose also known for his rivalries with Ruber Olivares and Rafael Limon with a 19-0 record, with most of his fights taking place at The Forum in Los Angeles, including a win against former champion Jesus Castillo. Just 14 months into his professional career, Chacon faced Olivares, who was the NABF Featherweight champion, but lost the bout when Olivares scored a ninth-round knock out.
His death was also the anniversary of Chacon's first world title win. On September 7, 1974, Chacon won the vacant WBC Featherweight title by defeating former junior lightweight champion Alfredo Marcano at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. He would win the WBC World Super Featherweight Title in 1982.
Just as his career enjoyed many highs, Chacon also endured many lows, including the suicide of his first wife the day before Chacon fought Salvador Ugalde. Chacon also had bouts with alcoholism and trouble with the law. Farris believes that Chacon was suffering from CTE, a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have had a severe blow or repeated blows to the head, which is starting to be commonly found in boxers and football players.
“It’s hard to know exactly what CTE does, but the protein eats away at the brain and we know it wasn’t a pleasant life for about the last 25 years for Bobby,” Farris said.
According to the obituary in the LA Times, Chacon is survived by his son Jamie Chacon, daughters Donna and Alexis Chacon. mother Gloria Banegas, stepfather John Banegas, and several siblings. Chacon’s other son, Bobby Jr., died in 1995.