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R.I.P Eusebio Pedroza

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R.I.P Eusebio Pedroza Empty R.I.P Eusebio Pedroza

Post by 88Chris05 on Fri 01 Mar 2019, 8:42 pm

Howdy lads, just a quick tribute heads up and tribute to Panama's Eusebio Pedroza, who held the WBA Featherweight title from 1978 to 1985 and who has passed away after a battle with cancer aged either 62 or 65, depending on which sources you believe. As he took part in one of the most enduringly popular and hallowed fights ever in a British ring, it seems appropriate that he gets a mention here. Also, in terms of commonly-pondered hypotheticals, how a fight between Pedroza and his WBC counterpart, Salvador Sanchez, might have panned out is a discussion which has graced many a boxing forum. Sadly, fate decided that it's a unification for the ages which we'd never see.

Having started out as a Bantamweight, Pedroza's early career got off to an inauspicious start; he was beaten inside-schedule in three of his first seventeen fights, including a two-round loss to Alfonso Zamora in 1976 for the WBA belt. However, a step up to Featherweight gave his stuttering career the kiss of life - he was never stopped again after moving up to 126 lb, and by 1978 had won the WBA belt from Cecilio Lastra.

His rugged, workmanlike style and reputation for fouling saw him go under the radar, even as champion, not helped by the fact that his early notable championship victims - Royal Kobayashi, Hector Carrasquilla and and Ruben Olivares amongst them - were often moving up in weight and / or past their primes.

However, his stock rose appreciably in 1980-81, when outpointed the hitherto undefeated (and future 130 and 135 lb world champion) Rocky Lockridge, and then followed it up by hammering Pat Ford to defeat in thirteen one-sided rounds, only months after Ford had gone the distance and come close to upsetting the great Sanchez in a WBC title tilt. Further wins (amongst others) over another future champion, Juan La Porte, Lockridge in a rematch and his countryman and former Bantamweight champion Jorge Lujan took Pedroza's tally of successful defences to 19 - before he was outworked in a spellbinding fifteen-rounder by Barry McGuigan at QPR's Loftus Road in the Summer of 1985. That ultimately unsuccessful twentieth defence earned him a purse of around £1 million; rare for a Featherweight even now, but almost unimaginable then.

A true 'world champion', it's also worth noting that Pedroza was a real globetrotter as WBA titlist, defending his belt in Puerto Rico, Japan, the USA, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Venezuela, Italy and England and well as his homeland.

Despite being such a rough handful in the ring, it's difficult not to admire Pedroza for his sheer bloody-mindedness and dedication; these, along with his body hooks, brute strength, underrated footwork and outstanding conditioning made him one of boxing's most consistent and reliable performers of his era. All too often remembered as being in Sanchez's shadow, hopefully one positive from his passing is that some fans will take a closer look at his record and fights and realise that he deserves to be seen as much more than that.

More than made his mark in the Featherweight division's history, and contributed to one of the great nights for British / Irish sport. Rest in Peace, Champ.



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Post by Mr Bounce on Sun 03 Mar 2019, 11:12 am

Pedroza was a little bit before my time in boxing (I started following in about 1988), but I fully appreciate his achievements. A true great of the ring and someone who should indeed be applauded. Such a shame that a great exponent of our sport has left us far too soon. RIP Eusebio.

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Post by milkyboy on Sun 03 Mar 2019, 12:52 pm

Tough hombre, skilled in the dark arts, had a lot of wars and mcguigan got him at a great time but, Chris is right, it was a great night for British fight fans and I remember it well. ... or as well as you can recall a fight in an alcoholic stupor.

Couldn’t see him beating Sanchez if they fought , but then I couldn’t see pat cowdell giving Sanchez a fight either.

RIP Eusebio.

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Post by Atila on Sun 03 Mar 2019, 7:56 pm

The only fight I ever saw of his was his fight with McGuigan, which he lost. I was probably in the minority in Britain who wanted Pedroza to win. Not because I was a fan of his I just wasn't a fan of McGuigan's.

I don't know about him fighting Sanchez, but it would have been good to see how he would have fared against Nelson. Probably would have lost but it might have been interesting for a few rounds as Pedroza was only 2 years older than Nelson.

Rest in peace Mr. Pedroza.

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