Barry McGuigan vs Eusebio Pedroza for WBA Featherweight Title
Way back in 1985, Barry McGuigan took on Eusebio Pedroza for the WBA Featherweight title. McGuigan would go on to win the belt in front of a crowd of 26,000 in attendance at Queen Park Rangers stadium in West London on 1985-06-08. McGuigan was a sporting icon who polarising figure for some in Ireland.
During the height of ‘The Troubles’, he took on British citizenship even though he was from the Republic. So that he could compete for the British domestic titles, a move which upset a lot of people. Yet throughout this time of political upheaval he refused to take sides. Something which endeared him to many on both sides of the border.
In a night filled to the brim with emotions, the young McGuigan entered the fight the underdog. Against the seasoned veteran in World champion Eusebio Pedroza. At twenty-nine years of age, Pedroza was defending his title for the twentieth time. And was expected to exit the bout with his championship. But with the Nation of Ireland and his adopted home of Great Britain behind him, the night would belong to Barry McGuigan.
The champion Pedroza was the bigger man, taller with a longer reach who had not lost a fight since 1976. McGuigan has lost one professional fight four years earlier but had not lost since then. But the fight against Pedroza was a big step up for the man from Clones. And coupled with the political environment in which the fight took place, emotions were running high for all concerned.
In a fight which saw the challenger chasing down and pressuring the champion throughout. Forcing him to fight on his back foot and use his jab to keep the challenger at bay. But McGuigan was relentless in keeping up the intense tempo and offence at the maximum.
The Seventh Round Knockdown
In the seventh round, Barry floored the champion with a right hand. But was unable to stop him in the follow up before the bell rang to end the round. As the fight continued, so the did the intense pressure from the challenger. Who countered the champion with every opportunity given.
Then in the thirteenth round, McGuigan lands a stiff right hand which wobbled Pedroza. He follows up with a series of shots which has the champion reeling. But as the round ticks down, again the champion is saved by the bell. On shaky legs going into the fourteenth and fifteenth rounds, with non-stop pressure since round one of the fight. The writing was on the wall as the final bell rings and Barry McGuigan is crowned the new WBA world featherweight champion.