Eusebio Pedroza: Barry McGuigan pays tribute as former world champion dies

Around 19 million people watched Eusebio box McGuigan on television in 1985
Around 19 million people watched Eusebio box McGuigan on television in 1985

Eusebio Pedroza, the boxer Barry McGuigan defeated to memorably become world featherweight champion in 1985, has died, aged 62.

Panamanian Pedroza held the WBA featherweight title for more than seven years before a points loss to McGuigan.

A UK television audience of 19 million people watched the Loftus Road bout.

The WBA said Pedroza had battled pancreatic cancer, adding he "was a worthy world champion and above all a great human being".

Irish fighter McGuigan, who was named BBC Sport Personality of the Year in 1985 after beating Pedroza, tweeted: "A sad day for me as my rival and outstanding world featherweight champion Eusebio Pedroza passes away. It was a pleasure to share the ring with him."

Pedroza won the world title aged 22 and defended the belt 19 times, making him one of the longest-reigning champions in featherweight history.

A WBA statement read: "Pedroza died at 62 years of age. Initially he was confined in the hospital struggling with pancreatic cancer, but later he was sent home where he continued to fight until the final bell rang early this morning."

After his unanimous points defeat by McGuigan, Pedroza fought five more times, retiring in 1992 with a record of 41 wins, six losses and a draw.

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