Legendary boxing icon Julio Cesar Chavez was announced as Mr. Amigo 2019 Wednesday at the ITEC Center in Brownsville in front of an audience of almost 100 people.

Chavez began boxing as an amateur at the age of 16 to help his family escape poverty. Born on July 12, 1962, his career spans a quarter of a century and 115 fights. He is a six-time world champion in three weight classes and one of the greatest boxers, the statement from Mr. Amigo Association reads.

“Our team gets together and decides how we select this person, obviously it has to be a public figure, we have to be someone that is ‘wow’ but we also have to make sure that we look at their personal life,” Mr. Amigo Association President Artemio Alvarez said.

“How this person became where he got, from being a kid, family to where he is at and I think that this person, this beautiful human being in a lot of ways, did that and I’m sure that you know who he is and have read his history, what he went through and how he became the great person that he is today,” Alvarez said.

As Mr. Amigo, Chavez will make appearances throughout Charro Days and attend some of its festivities. Charro Days runs Feb. 22-March 8.

The Mr. Amigo honor has been presented to 55 most deserving Mexicanos for their incessant dedication and love of country and their fellow man as well as their undeniable commitment to broaden international goodwill among its neighboring countries, the statement reads.

The event is in partnership with Texas Southmost College, The City of Brownsville, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, El Consulado de México en Brownsville, and more.

Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez said this is his first year he will be participating in the Charro Days Fiesta as the city’s mayor. He said the event is a celebration of cultures and it is a good time for the community to reflect and celebrate both cultures that are on the border.

“We are very fortunate, being on the border, that we have such a great relationship and for many, many years we were basically one city separated by a bridge and now we are two nations but I think we all have family, friends on both sides and it is a time for us to celebrate that,” he said.

TSC President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez said he is very proud to continue the outstanding partnership and tradition with Mr. Amigo Association.

“TSC has been part of this tradition for so many years now that it is part of TSC traditions now,” he said. “We truly truly cherish the partnership that we have with Mr. Amigo.”

In previous years Cantinflas, Vicente Fernandez, Jose Jose, Juan Gabriel, Angelica Maria, Lucha Villa, Veronica Castro, Lolita Ayala, Pedro Fernandez, among many more have been recognized as Mr. Amigo.

The Mr. Amigo Association started in the early 1960 when a small group of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce leaders gathered to discuss a method of developing and implementing a project that would promote relations between the United States and Mexico. This method would also publicize the international way of life in the border cities of Brownsville and Matamoros, the official website reads.