Hall of Famer and legendary featherweight champion Eusebio Pedroza has passed away from pancreatic cancer at home in Panama. He was 62, dying one day before what would have been his 63rd birthday.
Pedroza, nicknamed “El Alacrán,” turned pro in 1973, and in 1976 got his first world title shot as a bantamweight, knocked out in the second round by Alfonso Zamora in Mexico. It was Pedroza’s 16th pro fight.
Pedroza was 19-3 when he won the WBA featherweight title in 1978, stopping Spanish champion Cecilio Lastra in the 13th round in Panama City.
From there, he put together an incredible title reign, traveling around the world defending his belt. Along with fights in Panama, he made successful defenses in the U.S., Japan, Puerto Rico, Papua New Guina, South Korea, Italy, and Venezuela.
Some of his notable wins included beating Hall of Famer Ruben Olivares in 1982, Royal Kobayashi, Juan Laporte, and two wins over Rocky Lockridge, who passed away last month. Last year, Pedroza told The RING that Lockridge was the overall best opponent he ever faced.
In all, he made 19 successful title defenses. In 1985, Pedroza traveled to London and faced fan favorite Barry McGuigan at Loftus Road in front of a reported 27,000 fans, finally losing his title via 15-round decision.
Pedroza didn’t fight again for 14 months, and when he returned, he dropped a 10-round decision to Edgar Castro in Panama City. He was out of boxing for five years after that, returning in 1991 for a comeback attempt at age 35. He won a trio of tune-up bouts before losing a 1992 bout in Detroit to Mauro Gutierrez, and never fought again, retiring with a record of 41-6-1 (25 KO).
Pedroza was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1999.