By: Sergio F. Borges
On Friday, the boxing world lost an all-time great with the passing of Panamanian world champion and International Hall of Fame boxer Eusebio Pedroza. Pedroza died at his home in Panama City, one day shy of his 63rd Birthday, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Pedroza captured the featherweight title and made a record 19 successful defenses during his 7 plus year title reign.
Pedroza was born in Panama City, Panama on March 2, 1956 and turned pro in 1973. Prior to capturing the featherweight title, Pedroza traveled and fought around the World. In only his 16th pro fight, Pedroza traveled to Mexico in 1976 to challenge Alfonso Zamora for the world bantamweight title but was unsuccessful. Pedroza’s fate changed on April 15, 1978, when he knocked out Cecilio Lastra in the 13th round to capture the WBA featherweight title.
Pedroza defended his featherweight title against elite competition, including former and future world champions, Hall of Famer Ruben Olivares, Royal Kobachi, Jorge Lujan, Rocky Lockridge (twice) and all-time great Juan LaPorte. Pedroza was in talks to face legendary Hall of Famer Salvador Sanchez but that epic bout would never occur due to the passing of Sanchez in 1982. Pedroza’s legendary reign ended when he lost his title to Barry McGuigan in 1985. Pedroza earned a then record purse of $1 million for the McGuigan bout.
Pedroza, or “The Scorpion,” was known to take his foes into “deep waters.” As The Ring’s Lee Groves stated, “Everyone knew that rounds 11 through 15 was Pedroza’s turf. He seemed to draw strength from his opponents’ weakness and, once he sensed that weakness, he put the hammer down.”
Pedroza fought actively until 1986 and in 1991 made a 4 fight comeback before retiring for good in 1992 with a career record of 41-6-1 (25 KOs). Eusebio was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1999. This past week a memorial Ten-Bell Count was given to the fallen warrior at many boxing venues throughout the world. Punchline staff sends our condolences to the Pedroza family…May he rest in peace.
About the Editor
Army Veteran and former Professional Boxer Simon Ruvalcaba started boxing at the age of ten and Had a 71 fight amateur career which featured a 139 lbs. 1998 8th U.S. Army Boxing Championship out of Camp Casey, Korea and a spot on the prestigious Army Boxing Team at Fort Hood, TX. After a journeyman pro career of 18 fights, which included sparring sessions with many champions and contenders including Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell “Sweat Pea” Whitaker, Simon started writing and has contributed to many publications and websites including fighthype.com, pound4pound.com, Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV) and also writes a monthly boxing column for Tahoeonstage.com. He has also been the Boxing Instructor for Ken Shamrock and The Lions Den and MMA and Bareknuckle star Paige VanZant’s first boxing coach!
Born and Raised in South Lake Tahoe, California he now resides in Sun Valley, Nevada and spends as much time as possible with his Sons Gabriel and Oscar! Beyond boxing, Simon is an all around sports fanatic and is passionate about the teams that he roots for!