The Porsche 928 was a classic sportscar. In 1982, it is the perfect car for a young, budding legend that hasn't even approached his prime.
He’s racing along the federal highway from Santiago de Queretaro to San Luis Potosi, seeking to continue his training for a rematch with Juan LaPorte, with thoughts of bigger game.
Stylish and smooth, WBC featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez bounced thoughts of a rematch with Wilfredo Gomez around his mind. Certainly he must have thought of a looming “superfight” with Alexis Arguello.
Or perhaps even Aaron Pryor.
And then- just like that- it was over. “BOOM!” He crashed on that highway in a manner that killed him instantly.
We can only wonder what he would have grown into, but fellow Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez achieved greatness in that division as well, and an event between these two would've been a bona-fide mega attraction in México.
The 2004-2007 version of Marquez applied a mathematical approach to his game, reducing opponents such as Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera, Chris John and Orlando Salido- into mere fractions.
He was as if a spy who committed espionage on you right in front of your face, and he’d take no exception with Sanchez, who would've been like facing a Mexican edition of a young James Bond.
Let’s shake and stir this fabulous cocktail of a match-up, shall we?
SALVADOR SANCHEZ VS. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ
I believe Salvador Sanchez is the best featherweight ever.
I also happen to think that he was- at only age 23 when he left us- one of the best pure fighters’ to have ever lived. To be so young and to be held to such high esteem is a testament to just how very great he was. Sanchez was special.
Just how much so you ask?
For perspective, he’d already beaten future featherweight champs Juan LaPorte, Wilfredo Gomez and Azumah Nelson. He not only beat them, he dominated them.
Nelson would go on to a Hall-of-Fame career as did Gomez, who was one of the most destructive and feared fighters to ever come out of Puerto Rico. Juan LaPorte went on to give the great Julio Cesar Chavez one of the toughest fights of his “prime” career, losing only by razor-thin decision.
Sanchez was like a featherweight Sugar Ray Robinson, and I can't think of anyone beating him at featherweight in the history of the sport. That includes Floyd Mayweather, who was a truly great featherweight and more accomplished at that weight class than any other.
We don’t know when Juan Manuel started pee'ing in his Kool-Aid and enjoying glasses of it to become radioactive, but he would need something extra to deal with Sanchez.
In all the footage I've watched on Sanchez, particularly during fierce exchanges, he always got the best of you and never took a lot of solid punches. This is remarkable considering how aggressive he was.
He had absolutely perfect ring generalship, but Juan Manuel is equal here. Their speed is also even as is the high ring IQ’s, but Juan relies on the counterpunch arsenal and Sanchez’s length would leave him – well- short.
With eidetic vision, excellent control of distance and spacing, and a natural “Beethoven-like” prowess in terms of pure genius, Salvador Sanchez would dismantle, bloody and break the great Juan Manuel Marquez in 10 thrilling rounds, in front of a record-breaking crowd at Azteca Stadium in Mexico.