The Cinco de Mayo weekend has traditionally been known to produce some of the biggest and most memorable fight weekends in the history of the sport. In years past, the holiday has seen Mexican greats Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricardo “Finito” Lopez and many others fight on Cinco de Mayo. Mexican-American superstar Oscar de la Hoya fought on the weekend four times including his first mega-fight when, as WBO Lightweight World Champion, he defeated IBF Lightweight Titlist Rafael Ruelas on May 6, 1995. Now it’s Mexican sensation Canelo Alvarez’s turn as he is featured in the May 5 co-main event against future Hall of Famer Sugar Shane Mosley.
The Cinco de Mayo celebration, while more of an American tradition, is observed in Mexico, primarily in the city of Puebla, and dates back to the significance of the 1862 Battle of Puebla. In one of the proudest moments in Mexican History, 167 poorly equipped soldiers in the small town of Puebla battled and defeated a much more powerful 4,000-strong French army from taking over their land.
The Battle of Puebla was a monumental point in Mexican history for at least two reasons. First, although considerably outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army. Second, it was significant because since the Battle of Puebla, no country in the Americas has been invaded by a European military force. In the years since the Battle of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a day where Mexicans and Mexican-Americans enjoy all things Mexican with a passion and pride that never ceases.
With Cinco de Mayo also being an exciting time for the sport of boxing, it’s a great opportunity to connect a triumphant day in Mexican history with one of the biggest American sports traditions. With four of the biggest names in boxing, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, rising Mexican red-headed phenom Canelo Alvarez and Sugar Shane Mosley, fighting on this feted Mexican holiday this year, the city of Puebla has connected with this special weekend of events and activities in celebration of their victory.