Chacon became a world champion in 1975, knocking out defending world Featherweight champion Alfredo Marcano in nine at Los Angeles. During his first period as a world champion, Chacon got to meet, and like, what many refer to as the sweet life. He became an alcoholic and he loved partying. His clashes wth the law became matters of public knowledge, and his life went on a wild downward spiral.
Chacon lost that title in his second defense against arch-rival Ruben Olivares and almost immediately, he fought the first of his four fight rivalry with another world champion: Rafael Bazooka Limon. They would engage in what some boxing experts and historians have described as one of the fiercest and most spectacular boxing rivalries in history. Limon beat him in their first bout by a decision and they fought to a technical draw in their second bout.
This did not deter Chacon and he received a world championship try at the WBC's belt versus world champion Alexis Arguello, who beat him by a knockout in seven to retain the crown.
In 1980, Chacon had only one fight, but it was a significant one: He beat Limon in their third bout, and the WBC once again made him their number one challenger.
In 1981, Arguello had left the title vacant and gone up in weight to pursue the world's Lightweight title, so Limon beat Idelphonso Bethelmy by a knockout in 15 in Los Angeles to win the world championship. In his first defense, he lost it by a decision to Uganda's Cornelius Boza Edwards, who, in turn, defended his title against Chacon on his first defense. In a televised bout, Edwards retained the world title by a knockout in the thirteenth round.
Chacon put together a string of wins in 1982 that kept him as the number one challenger, but a dramatic development outside the ring which would change his life forever also took place: Chacon's wife, Valerie Chacon, flew to Hawaii on February of that year, hoping to convince him to leave boxing and move there if she found them good jobs. She was able to find a job, but unable to convince him to join her in Hawaii, so she flew back. She pleaded for him to leave the sport but wasn't able to convince him to do so, and one night before he boxed Salvador Ugalde, she grabbed a rifle and shot herself, dying instantly. Chacon felt guilty about her death, and he grabbed a microphone after that fight to tell the crowd he was dedicating his victory to his late wife Valerie.
After that, came his fourth and final bout with Limon. Limon had regained the world's Jr. Lightweight title by beating Rolando Navarrete by a knockout in 12. Navarrete, by his part, had won it by beating Edwards by a knockout in five in Italy. Chacon-Limon IV became one of the fights of the year and the decade, according to such magazines as Ring Magazine, KO Magazine, and The Ring En Espanol, and Chacon recovered from knockdowns suffered in rounds three and 10 to drop Limon in the closing seconds of round 15, and secure a close decision and his second world title in Sacramento.
About one year and a half after Valerie's suicide, Chacon remarried and bought a large farm with a mansion and, according to what he said at a recent interview, about 40 horses. He also acquired a collection of Rolls Royce cars and some other vehicles. In between, he and Boza Edwards met for a second time, with his world title on the line, in what Ring Magazine called the fight of the year for 1983. Chacon rose from a knockdown in round one and recovered from a dangerous cut to drop Boza Edwards in round twelve and avenge his earlier defeat to the Ugandan former champion. He was then stripped of the world title for refusing to go to challenger Hector Camacho's home country of Puerto Rico to defend against him.
Chacon started 1984 with a move up in weight, to the Lightweight division, where he tried to join the exclusive club of boxing's three division world champions, but was knocked out in three during his challenge against world champion Ray Mancini in Reno. Chacon then beat Carlton Sparrow by a decision in twelve and announced his retirement.
During this short retirement, Chacon had a serious run in with the police when he tried to pick up a fight with his second wife while in a drunken state. It was said that Chacon had returned to alcohol with abandon after retirement.
Chacon came back in 1985 and he won four fights, including one against former world champion Arturo Frias by a knockout in seven, and a knockout in five over Rafael Solis, who had challenged Camacho for the world Jr. Lightweight title that had belonged to Chacon.
In 1987 and 1989 he won one fight each year, and then he retired for good. But Chacon's life was once again marred by tragedy when his son was murdered in 1991. In 1996, he was spotted at a public appearance in Phoenix, Arizona to see the Pay Per View fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez together with fans at a public fight viewing held at a plaza there. But by year 2000, he was living in a run down hotel, after having lost his mansion, his farm and his cars. He had, according to the hotel's manager, no way to pay the rent, so the manager fixed a small room with boxing equipment and a few photos of Chacon in his heyday so that he could train street kids there as a way of paying for the rent and to help Chacon remember who he is to boxing fans. Supposedly, Chacon and the manager later had trouble, so Chacon currently stays with his mother.
Chacon had a record of 59 wins, 7 losses and 1 no contest, with 47 wins coming by knockout.
Some of his fights were broadcast by HBO's boxing show, HBO Boxing, and he was also able to beat Olivares (by a ten round decision in the third and final bout between them) and the then undefeated future world champion Danny Lopez, by a knockout in 9.