Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Eusebio Pedroza

Eusebio Pedroza (born 1953) is a native of Panama who holds two records in boxing: His 19 defenses as world Featherweight champion are a record for that division, and his seven years as world champion non stop are a division record too. His cousin, Rafael Pedroza, was a world champion too, in the Jr. Bantamweight division, although Rafael's reign as world champion was short lived.

Pedroza started out as a professional boxer in December 1, 1973, with a four round knockout win over Julio Garcia. His first 15 bouts were all in Panama, 14 of them in Panama City, and one in the location of David, Panama. He went 14-1 over that span of fights, including a win over Jacinto Fuentes, a boxer who would later draw and lose to Wilfredo Gomez. His one defeat over that period of his career came to Alfonso Perez by a knockout in three.

For fight number 16, Pedroza travelled on the last week of March of 1976, to Mexicali, Mexico, to challenge WBA world Bantamweight champion Alfonso Zamora for the world title. In his first championship try, Pedroza suffered his second loss, being knocked out in two rounds. After returning to Panama, he beat Pablo Jimenez by a decision in ten, then lost to Oscar Arnal in Venezuela by a knockout in six. He would not lose again for nine years.

Pedroza won three fights in 1977, two by knockout, and then, on April of 1978, the WBA's world Featherweight champion, Cecilio Lastra of Spain, travelled to Panama to defend his title on April 18 against Pedroza, who knocked him out in round 13 to become world Featherweight champion.

Pedroza, during the next seven years, became a world travelling world champion. Among his 19 defenses were one against Enrique Solis in Puerto Rico, a 15 round decision win, one in Japan against former world champion Royal Kobayashi, knocked out in 14, one in South Korea againt Soo Wang Kim, knocked out in 8, one in Houston against the former three time world champion and fellow Hall of Famer Ruben Olivares, who lasted 12, one in Papua New Guinea versus Johnny Aba, who lost in 11, two against future world Jr. Lightweight champion Rocky Lockridge, who went the distance with Pedroza in New Jersey and in Italy but lost by decision both times, a return to Venezuela to knock Carlos Pinango out in seven, a return to New Jersey to defeat Juan Laporte by decision, a return to Italy to beat Jose Caba, also by decision, and a fight in North Carolina in which he retained the title with a draw against Bernard Taylor. He also defended in his home country many tmes during that span, and became a household name in Latin America, his face appearing on the cover and posters of The Ring En Espanol and Guantes magazines multiple times.

Pedroza rose off the canvas in 1984 to knock out Gerald Hayes in ten, and he tied the record for division defenses with a win over Angel Levi Mayor, once again in Venezuela. On February of 1985, he made history by beating the former world Bantamweight champion, fellow Panamanian Jorge Lujan, to defend his title for the nineteenth time. Pedroza finally lost his title in England, being defeated by Ireland's Barry McGuigan at London by a 15 round decision on his 20th defense.

During his period as a world champion, several attempts were made at unifying the title with WBC world Featherweight champions Salvador Sanchez, Laporte and Gomez. Sanchez's death in a car accident and Gomez's defeat at the hands of Azumah Nelson, among other things, helped stop the possibility of a unification bout, however.

Between 1986 and 1992, Pedroza tried various comebacks, going 3-2 in total on those comeback attempts. Faithful to his world traveller costumes, many of those fights were outside Panama, including a few in Miami, and one in France.

He retired with a record of 42 wins, 6 losses and one draw , with one no contest, and 25 wins by knockout. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame