Panamanian world champion boxer Eusebio Pedroza dead at 62

<p>
              FILE - In this June 9, 1985 file photo, defending champion Eusebio Pedroza from Panama, left, throws a punch at Northern Ireland's Barry McGuigan, during their World Featherweight Championship fight at Queen's Park Rangers Football Ground, London. The Panamanian ex-featherweight champ died on Friday, March 1, 2019. He was 62.  
(AP Photo/Bob Dear, File)
            </p>

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Former world champion Panamanian boxer Eusebio Pedroza, who defended the featherweight title more times than any other, has died at age 62.

The World Boxing Association said Friday that Pedroza had been hospitalized recently while battling pancreatic cancer.

Pedroza, nicknamed the “Scorpion,” successfully defended his title 19 times between 1978 and 1985.

Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela expressed his condolences via Twitter.

Panamanian boxing researcher Nicolas Espinosa says Pedroza’s “punches, launched like killer harpoons, felled many instantly.”

Pedroza’s reign ended in London at the hands of Ireland’s Barry McGuigan in 1985.

On Friday, McGuigan said via Twitter it was a sad day. He says “it was a pleasure to share the ring with him.”