July in Boxing History (Part 3 of 3)
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Sun, 12 Jul 2020
Mancini (L) and Espana (R), July 24, 1982, Warren, Ohio.
Hopefully, July 2020 will see the continuous and steady return of professional boxing especially in the United States after the still ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced a full stop to sport events in general, and many other routinary human endeavors and activities for that matter, last March.
Actually pro boxing has made an auspicious comeback in the US a week earlier with American Joshua Franco winning the WBA super flyweight regular title over Australia's Andrew Moloney last June 24, 2020. That will go down in boxing history as the first world championship fight to be held at the end of the global pandemic lockdown.
The current month though will still be characterized by the general wait and see attitude by both organizers and fans in the US and elsewhere as authorities attempt to ease boxing and sports as a whole to a new normal in line with established health and medical protocols.
Thus far, the current month has seen publicized fights involving some prominent names as ex two division world champion Jose Pedraza as well as the up and coming Jose Zepeda, Robeisy Ramirez and Luis Alberto Lopez who all won against mostly rated opponents.
If plans fall into place, July will see another world championship bout involving Jamel Herring defending his WBO super featherweight crown versus Jonathan Equendo on July 14 and the return to the ring of heavyweights Carlos Takam and Agit Kabayel as well as Filipinos Reymart Gaballo and John Vincent Moralde, among others.
Could this July very well usher into the holding of bigger fights by the last trimester of 2020?
Part 3: July in Boxing History
July 21, 1979
In a battle between two legends, one an emerging and another a leaving one, International Boxing Hall of Fame members, World Boxing Association Featherweight Champion Eusebio Pedroza made his fifth defense after stopping Ruben Olivares at 1:42 of round 12 at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, Texas. The 23 year old Pedroza led on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage 108-102, 108-101, and 108-100 and improved to 23-3, 16 KO’s. The 32 year old Olivares fell to 87-10-2, 77 KO’s and figured in what proved to be his final world title contest after reigning previously as bantamweight and featherweight champion from the late 60s through the early to mid 70s.
July 23, 1988
American Tony Tiger Lopez wrested the International Boxing Federation Super Featherweight Championship of the World via 12 round unanimous decision victory over fellow American defending titlist Rocky Lockridge by the scores of 116-112 and 115-112 twice at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. The fight earned Fight of the Year honors from Ring Magazine. The 25 year old Lopez survived a knockdown in round eight and improved to 30-1, 22 KO’s. The 29 year old Lockridge was making the third defense of his title and dropped to 43-6, 35 KO’s.
July 24, 1982
American International Boxing Hall of Fame member Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini made the first defense of his World Boxing Association Lightweight Championship after stopping Ernesto Espana at 2:59 of round six at Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren, Ohio. A barrage of punches without any return fire led referee Stanley Christodoulou to stop the contest. The 21 year old Mancini led on the scorecards 50-46 and 50-45 twice while improving to 24-1, 19 KO’s. The 27 year old Espana dropped to 35-5, 29 KO’s. Mancini would later figure in another title defense that ended in a ring fatality which would force a change in championship boxing from 15 rounds to only 12 rounds duration.
July 25, 1981
American International boxing hall of fame member and World Boxing Association bantamweight Champion Jeff Chandler made the third defense of his title after stopping Puerto Rican Julian Solis at 2:58 of round seven at Resorts International Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This was a rematch from November of 1980 when Chandler beat Solis for the WBA crown. The 24 year old Chandler led on the scorecards 60-54, 59-57, and 58-57 at the time of the stoppage and improved to 26-0-2, 13 KO’s. The 24 year old Solis dropped to 22-2, 10 KO’s.
July 26, 1981
Mexican International Boxing Hall of Fame member Lupe Pintor made the sixth defense of his World Boxing Council Bantamweight Championship after stopping Jovito Rengifo at 1:21 of round eight at the Showboat Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 26 year old Pintor trailed on two of the scorecards, 66-67 twice and led on the third 67-66 at the time of the stoppage and improved to 46-5-1, 36 KO’s. The 24 year old Rengifo dropped to 28-3, 14 KO’s.
July 27, 1985
Bucking the odds and the then apartheid policy in South Africa, International Boxing Hall of Fame member Dwight Braxton renamed Muhammad Qawi won the World Boxing Association Cruiserweight title by stopping Piet Crous at 1:47 of the 11th round at the Superbowl in Sun City. The 32 year old Qawi trailed on one scorecard 96-98 and was tied on two at 95-95 and 96-96 at the time of the stoppage and improved to 24-2-1, 13 KO’s. The 30 year old Crous was making his third defense and lost for the first time, dropping his record to 23-1-1, 20 KO’s.
July 31, 1987
Most travelled South African International Boxing Hall of Famer and lineal Jr Lightweight World Champion Brian Mitchell made the second defense of the World Boxing Association title after stopping Francisco Fernandez at 1:06 of round 14 at the Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, in Panama City, Panama on. The 25 year old Mitchell improved to 31-1-2, 17 KO’s, while the 26 year old Fernandez dropped to 24-11-1, 21 KO’s.
References: castroskingdom.com, boxrec.com
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.
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