Eusebio Pedroza, the man who owns the record for most featherweight world title defenses, has passed away at the age of 62.
According to an official statement from the WBA, Pedroza initially was confined in the hospital struggling with pancreatic cancer, but was later sent home where he continued to fight until early this morning.
Pedroza started his pro career in 1973 where he would win all but three of his fights through 1977 and even challenged for a bantamweight title in that span. Pedroza moved down to featherweight where he would stop Cecilio Lastra in 1978 to win the WBA featherweight title.
After winning the WBA title, Pedroza would go on to successfully defend his title fighting often and all over the world. Pedroza won his title in Panama and traveled to places such as the United States, South Korea, Italy, Puerto Rico and even Papua New Guinea to defend his titles. Pedroza lost his title to Barry McGuigan in England in front of roughly 26,000 attendees in 1985. After that loss, Pedroza would fight five more times before he officially retired for good in 1992.
The Panama native retired with a 41-6-1 record with 25 of those wins coming from inside the distance. During his reign, Pedroza successfully defended the featherweight world title 19 times, more than any other featherweight champion in history.
Several members of the boxing community took to Twitter to express their condolences over the death of one of boxing's greatest featherweight champions.
Eusebio Pedroza: The beast with 19 defenses— WBA Boxing (@WBABoxing) March 1, 2019
The pugilism of Panama is full of legends. When we review the names of those who have made the country proud, Eusebio Pedroza is one of the most distinguished and beloved ones... https://t.co/5HzfHqlA2d #WBAboxing pic.twitter.com/TCvVll8OUA
A sad day for me as my rival and outstanding World Featherweight Champion Eusebio Pedroza passes away aged 62 RIP. Pedroza is one of the longest reigning Featherweight Champion in history, it was a pleasure to share the ring with him -- https://t.co/qVYXpy4p7e— Barry McGuigan (@ClonesCyclone) March 1, 2019
RIP Eusebio Pedroza. Member of the Boxing Hall of Fame and made 19 successful defenses of his WBA featherweight title.— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) March 1, 2019
The great Panamanian champion Eusebio Pedroza, who took part in arguably the most famous fight in #IrishBoxing history against @ClonesCyclone at Loftus Road in 1985, has died. RIP. https://t.co/eo3xpLVZBG— Kevin Byrne (@KevByrneBox) March 1, 2019
-- RIP To the legendary Eusebio Pedroza https://t.co/w88ufoGIxG— Tony Tolj -------- (@TonyTolj) March 1, 2019
RIP the great Eusebio Pedroza, one of the best Featherweights of all time.— Ron Katz (@rkmatchmaker) March 1, 2019
On the elliptical watching Eusebio Pedroza vs Rocky Lockridge I, two warriors the boxing community recently lost pic.twitter.com/jMAJDDC6OR— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) March 1, 2019
Con profunda pena nos unimos a la familia boxistica de #Panama por la muerte del gran campeón EUSEBIO Pedroza . Que descanse en paz— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) March 1, 2019