Birthplace: Panama City, Panama
When you think of legendary sports athletes from Panama you think of Rod Carew, Roberto Duran and not many others, but there's another Panamanian who has been overshadowed by the aforementioned. Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Eusebio Pedroza was one of the greatest featherweights of his era. There have been few title reigns like the one Pedroza had. When he captured the WBA featherweight title in 1978, he held the crown for an astounding seven years and two months, including a division record 19 successful title defenses.
Born in Panama City, Panama, Pedroza was a tall featherweight. Standing at 5'9, he towered over many of his opponent who were much shorter than him. He turned pro in 1973 and fought exclusively in Panama City until he went to Mexico to challenge Alfonso Zamora for the world bantamweight crown in 1976. It was only Pedroza's 16th pro fight and might have been to soon because Zamora retained his title by knocking out Pedroza in the second round.
Pedroza, like another fellow countryman Roberto Duran was known as a hard puncher and an aggressive and smart fighter. On April 15th, 1978, fighting at home in Panama City, Pedroza knocked out Cecilio Lastra in the 13th round to win the WBA featherweight title. During his reign of the WBA featherweight title, Pedroza fought many great fighters and future World Champions. Among them are: Hall of Famer Ruben Olivares who he knocked out in the 12 round of their championship match, Royal Kobashi, Jorge Lujan, Rocky Lockridge and memorable 15 round decision against Juan LaPorte.
Pedroza's great featherweight title run came to an end on June 8th, 1985 when he lost a unanimous decision to Barry McGuigan. He retired with a record of 42-6 with 25 KOs.
On a bright sunny day in June in a small town in upstate New York, Eusebio Pedroza was among six others who was inducted into the into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The other members of the Class of 1999 include Promoter Bob Arum, Jimmy Bivins, Mickey Duff, Khaosai Galaxy and Irving Rudd. Even though Pedroza enjoys retirement, he shined when he was back in the spotlight during his Induction speech. "Being voted into the Hall of Fame and joining all these great fighters means a lot to me. My last fight ( a controversial decision in a 10 round loss to Mauro Guitirrez) left me disgusted with boxing. But coming here washes all that away. This has been a experience for me". "Getting inducted makes me happy for my family, my fans especially those in Latin America whom I share this honor with".
Eusebio Pedroza owns a pig farm in Panama and works for the government as a chief of general services, an agency that provides utilities to disadvantaged citizens in Panama.
The Legends: Roberto Clemente | Lefty Gomez | Martin Dihigo | Wilfred Benitez | Sammy Sosa
Chi-Chi Rodriguez | Orlando Cepeda | Eusebio Pedroza | Anthony Muñoz | Adrian Fernandez
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