But the woman wasn't the guessing type. She threw him a strange sideways glance and pushed on fast.
"Come back!" Chandler yelled after her. "Don't you know who you've been talking to? I'm Joltin' Nose Chandler."
In the bout with Muniz, Chandler grimaced, groaned and grinned his way around the ring for 10 rounds, and lost a split decision by a single point—his first pro defeat after 33 wins and two draws. The Philadelphian opened up a cut the width of the Schuylkill River under Muniz' left eye in the second round. All Chandler had to do to ice the fight was try some boxing in the 10th round. But instead of sticking Muniz with his jab, Chandler stuck out his tongue. It was a performance deserving of an Academy Award. The crowd, which had booed Muniz before the bout, was chanting "Oscar, Oscar," by the end.
"I was not in the best of shape, and I got anxious when I saw I couldn't pick up my attack," Chandler explained later. "I fooled with Muniz to bring him in closer, but when he got in, I didn't feel like having him there, either. I felt like fighting, but my body didn't. When they announced I had lost, I figured this was the end of my career. I'd told myself that if I ever got beaten, I'd quit. So I was thinking, 'Wow! Maybe I've had it.' "
Chandler is obsessed with ensuring his place in boxing history. He wants to win titles in three divisions, which only seven men in history—Bob Fitzsimmons, Tony Canzoneri, Barney Ross, Henry Armstrong, Wilfred Benitez, Alexis Arguello and Roberto Duran—have done. He carries a Ring Record Book with him to all his fights. "I look in the book and see the Z-boys, Alfonso Zamora and Carlos Zarate, who made defense after defense," he says. "I get dizzy looking at all the defenses they had." He flips to page 909, which is worn from much thumbing. "Wow!" he says. "Look at this record. It's a great record."
It's his own. He scans the list. Chandler has faced two Americans in his last 22 fights and knocked out both.
"September 26, 1979," he says. "I hit Baby Kid Chocolate with a right jab and a left hook, and he melted.
"March 27, 1982. My fifth defense. Johnny (Bang-Bang) Carter, the Dancing Machine. I broke the machine down."
Chandler's plans to brighten his record by taking titles in two more divisions have been temporarily shelved by the loss to Muniz. Chandler will seek to settle his score in a rematch—with his title on the line—on Dec. 17 in Atlantic City.
There may be no more unusual trio in sports than Chandler, his manager and his trainer. They look like a family running a Ma-and-Pa hoagie shop in South Philly. Willie and K.O. dote on their champion like grandparents, which they are. "Willie and Becky are part of my strength," Chandler says. "I can go over to their house to eat and sleep or do anything I want. I'm in love with them, and they love me."