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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Jesus Chong
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FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Flyweight Champion Jesus "El Tigre" Chong.

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Jesus Alberto Chong, the former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Flyweight Champion nicknamed “El Tigre”, is one of countless fine Mexican fighters who have made their mark on the sports lighter, often under-appreciated, divisions.

Born on January 7, 1965 in Gomez Palacio, a city in the northeastern part of Mexican state Durango, Chong is of Chinese-Mexican heritage. In 1966 his mother gave birth to Jesus´ baby-brother Hector, and boxing would eventually become a very large part of the Chong family´s lives.

Hector Ulises Chong made his professional debut at seventeen in 1983, and had compiled a 5-2 record by the time Jesus followed him into the paid ranks in September of 1987. But while he had a head-start on his older sibling, Hectors career never reached the same heights as that of Jesus.

The younger Chong went on to win the Chihuahua State Featherweight title, defeat some good fighters and share the ring with some even better ones, such as former or future world champions Alejandro Gonzalez, Jesse Benavides, Julio Gervacio and Juan Manuel Marquez.

But after losing a unanimous decision to Gonzalez in 1993, his career soon went downhill and he became a journeyman with losses in sixteen of his last seventeen bouts. He retired in 1998 with a less than spectacular 27-22-3 record.

By the time Hector decided to hang up his gloves, Jesus had also seen better days in the ring. But before that, he had accomplished much more than his brother. A big puncher, he won his first nine fights by knockout, before suffering his first defeat on points at the hands of tough fellow countryman Justo Zuniga (20-13-1) in October of 1989.

Four months later Jesus fought outside of Mexico for the first time, dropping a decision to future Hall-of-Famer Johnny Tapia (14-0-1) in Las Vegas. There was no shame in that loss, as Tapia went on to win world titles in three weight classes, and Chong would never shy away from fighting the best opponents possible.

Remaining in the USA, he finished 1990 strong, beating Oscar Calzada (8-0) and Martin Llovera (0-1) in Tucson, before picking up the IBC Light Flyweight belt with a majority decision over Francisco Montiel (22-11-1) on December 13 in one of the headlining fights of a show at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois.

Looking to build on his momentum, Chong accepted to move up a division to fight Ysaias Zamudio (21-3) for the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Flyweight title a month later at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. He showed his quality again, but came out on the short end of a razor thin decision.

For his next outing, on March 21, 1991, he was back at Light Flyweight, and back in Mexico. Despite the setback against Zamudio, Chong was now a main event fighter, winning the vacant NABF title with a fifth round stoppage of Jorge Luis Roman (13-2-1).

He followed that up with a unanimous decision over highly ranked Cuauhtemoc Gomez (21-0) and a knockout in four over Argentinian prospect Daniel Humberto Lagos (11-1), firmly establishing himself as a top world contender. However, on the hunt for a world title fight, he had to settle for the next best thing: Fighting the best!

IBF World Light Flyweight ruler Michael Carbajal (21-0) was looking for an opponent for a non title fight on the October 18, 1991 undercard for the Tommy Morrison vs. Ray Mercer WBO World Heavyweight title fight promoted by Top Rank at the Convention Center in Atlantic City.

With a nice-looking 15-3 record, Jesus Chong fit the bill, and he happily accepted what was his biggest pay-day to date, along with an excellent opportunity to get valuable exposure on American television. He was not expected to beat Carbajal, but even a good performance could do wonders for his future.

And that is exactly how it played out. Carbajal was the better man that night, but Chong again proved that he could hang with the best. He gave the world champion some problems, landed some good punches, but in the end the man from Phoenix won a decision with scores of 97-93, 97-92 and 97-92.

Between February of 1992 and May of 1995, Chong went 12-2 (11). Time and again he showed that his massive punching-power made him a force to be reckoned with, as he defended his NABF title twice, stopping Francisco Montiel in eleven rounds of a rematch, and getting rid of Danny Nunez (22-1) in seven.

He won the Mexican Light Flyweight title in March of 1993 against Raul Rios (26-5-2), and made six successful defense of that title, against very competent opposition, before getting disqualified against Edgar Cardenas (10-4-1), a man he had beaten seven months earlier.

While he was declared the loser of that fight, there was no doubt that Chong was still genuine world class and better than Cardenas. He had always been ready to take on all comers, so it was no surprise that he accepted to challenge reigning WBF World Light Flyweight Champion Sairung Suwanasil (6-1) on July 16, 1995 in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Also known as Sairung Singwancha, the local man was the favorite, but Chong was certainly his best opponent to date. With thousands of enthusiastic fans singing and rooting for their hero, the Mexican visitor had everything against him in his first, and long-awaited, chance to become a world champion.

Despite only seven recorded professional bouts (he may have had more which was not registered by international record-keepers), Suwanasil had made three defenses of his world title against tough challengers, and knocked out six straight opponents.

The bloodthirsty spectators demanded that he also demolish Chong, but it was not to be. After a strong start by Suwanasil, Chong started to take over and use all the experience he had gained fighting the likes of Tapia and Carbajal. By the middle rounds it was his fight, and in round nine he stopped Suwanasil and silenced the crowd.

The new WBF World Light Flyweight Champion instantly became a star in Thailand, having beaten their poster-boy. So the financial rewards were high when he was invited back only three months later to defend against another Thai hope in Somsak Plapol, AKA Jakkrit LG-Gym (4-0).

In Nong Khai, located on the banks of the Mekong River, Chong was, unfortunately for him, making his first title-defense against a very special talent. Plapol boxed wonderfully that afternoon, and deservedly won a unanimous decision and the hearts of his countrymen.

But Jesus Chong was not done achieving big things. On April 16, 1996 he caused a major upset as he knocked out two-time World Amateur Champion and US Olympian Eric Griffin (16-2) in seven rounds to regain the NABF title in Saint Louis.

A year later, with the vacant WBO World title on the line, relinquished by South African legend “Baby” Jake Matlala, Chong solidified the outcome of the first fight when he stopped Griffin in the second round of a rematch, and he was now a world champion again. But, just like the first time, it would not last very long.

The following August, three months after beating Griffin the second time, Chong was convincingly out-pointed by former WBC World titlist, and fellow Mexican, Melchor Cob Castro (50-5-4), and it would turn out to be the beginning of the end.

Always a warrior and willing to face anyone, he continued to fight at world level though, and returned to Thailand in March of 2000 to challenge for his old WBF World title. But, despite a valiant effort, he lost a decision to Linglom Por Tawatchai (7-1).

In November of 2002 Chong experienced what every boxer fears, as opponent Jaime Parga (reportedly 20-5 entering the bout) died from brain injuries sustained from being knocked out in the ninth round by the former two-time world champion.

Chong fought just once more after that, losing a ten-rounder by unanimous decision to journeyman Rafael Chavez (12-15-1), and retired at age 38 with a 32-16 (28) record.

  Part 46: Renata Szebeledi
  Part 45: Lester Ellis
  Part 44: Patrick Vungbo
  Part 43: Patrick Washington
  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

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