Eusebio "El Alacran" Pedroza
With Gilberto Roman, we discussed the vast amount of legendary fighters from Mexico that leave numerous greats by the wayside in obscurity. Similarly is the towering scope surrounding Panama's Roberto Duran.
Duran, by many boxing historians, is considered the best fighter in the history of the lightweight division. Arguably he may be the best Latin fighter of all time. Without question, he is the premier fighter to come out of his home country of Panama as he, at times, transcended the sport gaining mainstream notoriety.
In the 1970s and 80s, Panama's Eusebio "El Alacran" Pedroza (41-6-1, 25 KOs) held the WBA featherweight championship from April 1978 to June 1985, making 19 defenses of his title with one draw. Pedroza was unfortunate to fight at the same time as Duran, as throughout the 1980s, at times, he was every bit as good and certainly much more consistent.
Sometimes what leaves fighters forgotten is when they aren't provided the opportunities to secure meaningful fights. Pedroza was set to face off against fellow featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez in 1982.
Tragically, Sanchez died in a car accident at just 23 years old. Sanchez-Pedroza is one of the fights in boxing history that could have legitimately settled who was the best fighter in the history of the featherweight division.
Along with the Sanchez bout never coming to fruition, Pedroza never fought the likes of Azumah Nelson or Wilfredo Gomez, who held titles at featherweight at the same time as him. That isn't to say that Pedroza didn't face any well-known fighters such as Ruben Olivares, Rocky Lockridge, and Juan Laporte.
After more than seven years as the featherweight champion, Pedroza's reign ended at the hands of Barry McGuigan. He never fought for a world title again, but his reign as featherweight champion stands head-to-head with almost any run in boxing history.