Eusebio Pedroza

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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 also, in the junior 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. 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 Gómez. His one defeat over that period of his career came to Alfonso Pérez by a knockout in three.

For fight number 16, Pedroza traveled on the last week of March 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 1978, the WBA 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, traveled the world to defend his title. 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 against Sa Wang Kim, knocked out in 8, one in Houston against the former three time world champion and fellow Hall of Famer Rubén Olivares, who lasted 12, one in Papua New Guinea versus Johnny Aba, who lost in 11, two against future world junior 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 times during that span, and became a household name in Latin America, his face appearing on the cover and posters of Ring En Español and Guantes magazines multiple times.

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