Originally Posted by es***boy
I agree. It just a shame he never got to show what heights he could reach although he did accomplish so much in such a short period.
In a very real sense, I think he did with Gomez and Lopez. Wilfredo was thought be many experts to be virtually flawless going in against Sal, the apex predator in the sport. His best opponent actually became the quickest and most devastating win of his championship career, and Sanchez got on a multitude of magazine covers for doing it. There was little available he could do at the time to top those wins. When he died, he was as well known as anybody in boxing, and his death was headline news on ESPN.
To return to the heights he reached against Lopez and Gomez though, he needed similarly compelling opposition. A featherweight unification against Pedroza was yet another matchup many did not believe he would win, and he might well have produced another stunning escalation in his performance if that had materialized. (Sanchez was a far bigger star in America though, and didn't need Pedroza the way Pedroza needed him. He seemed to pretty much ignore his WBA counterpart.) Aside from Arguello, there didn't seem to be much else remaining for him in the way of prospective superpromotions. At the time it happened, Nelson was just another day at the office, but Azumah's later career drastically immensified the significance of their match retroactively. His career may have done the most to honor Sal's memory after his death. (LaPorte won his vacant title, but Nelson eventually proved to be his true successor.)
Shortly before Sal took Little Red's title, pundits predicted that Lopez would dominate the FW division as long as he cared to if he survived the challenge of Gomez. Otherwise, Danny was considered to have largely cleaned out the division when Sanchez came along. Because so many of Sal's defenses were competitive decisions, he actually helped revive a division which may have been on the brink of desolation and media neglect.
Rocky Lockridge was a potential challenger who might also have brought out some fire in Sanchez, and that's a prospective matchup I haven't come across much discussion about.
Bottom line is that he's far from forgotten today, and a regular topic for discussion. I'm not convinced that Olivares would have gone 4-0 against Lopez, Gomez and Nelson, although he certainly would have posted more title defense stoppages than Sal did against his lesser challengers.