Eusebio Pedroza (born March
2, 1953) is a retired boxer from Panama who held the World Boxing
Association (WBA) featherweight championship from 1978 to 1985. His
19 successful defenses as world featherweight champion are a record
for that division. His cousin, Rafael Pedroza, was a world champion
also, in the junior bantamweight division, although Rafael's reign
as world champion was short lived.
out as a professional boxer on 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 Gomez.
His one defeat over that period of his career came to Alfonso Perez
by a knockout in three.
For fight number 16, Pedroza
traveled in 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 Paablo
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.
during the next seven years, traveled the world to defend his title.
Among his 19 succesful 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 Ruben Olivares,
who lasted 12, one in Port Moresby, Papua New Guines versus Johnny
Aba, who lost in 11, two against future world junior lightweight
champon Rocky Lockridge, who went the distance with Pedroza in New
Jersy 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 Espanol and Guantes magazines mutiple times.
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 1985, he made history by beating
the former world bantamweight champion 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 Pedroza's reign, talks
surfaced of a unification bout against World Boxing Council featherweight
champion Salvador Sanchez. These hopes were dashed when Sanchez died
in an automobile accident in 1982.
Between 1986 and 1992, Pedroza
tried various comebacks, going 3-2 in total on those comeback attempts.
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.