With Carlos Támara, Colombia Amounts 42 World Champions –A Statistical Approach from Antonio Cervantes to Carlos Támara

Jaime Castro Núñez - Carlos Támara is Colombia’s newest champion of the world. By knocking out Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria in the Philippines, the kid from Sincelejo, now living and training out of Bergen, NJ., has become Colombia’s 42th boxing champion of the world, being junior welterweight Antonio Cervantes “Kid Pambelé” the first one. Just for the sake of having fun with the statistics, I spent the last two weeks putting all the numbers together in order to analyze the sport of boxing in this part of the world. This is what I found.

Colombia entered into the boxing world scenario on October 28, 1972, in Panama, when 140-pounder Antonio Cervantes dethroned Alfonso “Peppermint” Frazer, becoming Colombia’s first champion ever.. Since then, other 41 Colombian boxers have reached the top.

Counting all boxing entities, the country of Colombia has had 42 beltholders. If we add the two female titlelist, Lely Luz Flórez and Darys Pardo, there are 44. However, if we only count champions in the four major entities, this is, WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO, the number goes down to 33, from Cervantes to Támara. If we add the two ladies, then it will be a total of 35. The nine boxers who have claimed belts EXCLUSIVELY in minor, new entities, are: Amancio Castro, Wilfrido Ruíz, Antonio Pitalúa, Ilido Julio, José Sanjuanelo, Newton Villarreal, José García-Bernal, Óscar León and Fulgencio Zúñiga.

Addicionaly, the country has had one amateur king, bantamweight Miguel Maturana, who obtained the gold medal at the World Championship held in Montreal in 1981. Cecilia “First Lady” Braekhus, current WBA-WBC titleholder, who was born in Cartagena, Colombia, is not counted among Colombian champions because she represents Norway, the country where she grew up. Cecilia, however, is news in our country whenever she fights. With that being said, we can summarize all of them as follows:

Summary of Colombian Champions
Men-Professional-All Entities: 42
Women-Professional: 2
Men-Women-Professional-All Entities: 44
Men-Professional-4 Major Entities: 33
Men-Women-Professional-4 Major Entities: 35
Men-Professional-Exclusively Minor Entities: 9
Men-Amateur: 1

In analyzing all champions by weight class, one can easily recognize that Colombia has not produced a single one in any of the following five divisions: Lightweight, Super Welterweight, Light Heavyweight, Cruiserweight or Heavyweight.

Junior Welterweight and Light Flyweight, with 9 (21.42%) and 7 (16.66%) champions, respectively, are the most popular. The nine junior welterweight boxers are: Antonio Cervantes, Rafael Pineda, Amancio Castro, Antonio Pitalúa, Ener Julio, Newton Villarreal, Carlos Maussa, Juan Urango and Ricardo Torres. The 108 pounders are: Mauricio Pastrana, Kermin Guardia, José Sanjuanelo, Beibis Mendoza, José García-Bernal, César Canchila and Carlos Támara.

At Flyweight, Prudencio Cardona, Fidel Bassa, Elvis Álvarez, Rodolfo Blanco, Francisco Tejedor, Mauricio Pastrana and Irene Pacheco, represent 16.66%. This division is followed by the Bantamweight, with 6 boxers: Miguel Lora, Jorge Eliécer Julio, Harold Mestre, Mauricio Pastrana, José Sanjuanelo and Yonnhy Pérez, representing 14.28%. The rest are represented as follows: Super Flyweight: 5 – 11.90%; Straw: 3 – 7.14%; Super Bantamweight: 3 – 7.14%; Super Featherweight: 2 – 4.76%; Middleweight: 2 – 4.76%; Super Middleweight: 2 – 4.76%; Featherweight: 1 – 2.38%, and 1 Welterweight, Tomás Molinares, famous for knocking out Marlon Sterling in 1988.

When it comes to the entities where they have reigned, the IBF stands first with 14. 74% of all Colombian titleholders have reigned in the 4 major entities and 26% in the minor ones.

Colombian champions by Entity
IBF 14 – 28%
WBA 12 – 24%
WBO 7 – 14%
IBO 7 – 14%
WBC 4 – 8%
IBA 4 – 8%
IBC 2 – 4%

IBF Champions by Weight Class
Super Flyweight -115- Juan Polo-Pérez, Harold Grey.
Junior Welterweight -140- Rafael Pineda, Juan Urango.
Flyweight -112- Rodolfo Blanco, Francisco Tejedor, Irene Pacheco.
Bantamweight -118- Harold Mestre, Yonnhy Pérez.
Light Flyweight -108- Mauricio Pastrana, Carlos Támara.
Straw -105- Miguel Barrera, Daniel Reyes.
Super middleweight -168- Alejandro Berrío.

WBA Champions by Weight Class
Junior Welterweight -140- Antonio Cervantes, Carlos Maussa.
Super Bantamweight -122- Ricardo Cardona, Luis Mendoza.
Flyweight -112- Fidel Bassa, Elvis Álvarez, Mauricio Pastrana.
Welterweight -147- Tomás Molinares.
Bantamweight -118- Jorge Eliécer Julio.
Light Flyweight -108- Beibis Mendoza, César Canchila.
Super Featherweight -130- Likar Ramos.

WBO Champions by Weight Class
Flyweight -112- Elvis Álvarez.
Featherweight -126- Rubén Darío Palacios.
Bantamweight -118- Jorge Eliécer Julio.
Straw -105- Kermin Guardia, Daniel Reyes.
Light Flyweight -108- Kermin Guardia.
Junior welterweight -140- Ener Julio, Ricardo Torres.

IBO Champions by Weight Class
Super Flyweight -115- Mauricio Pastrana, Ilido Julio.
Junior Welterweight -140- Ener Julio, Newton Villarreal.
Light Flyweight -108- José Sanjuanelo, José García-Bernal.
Bantamweight -118- José Sanjuanelo.
Super Middleweight -168- Fulgencio Zúñiga.

WBC Champions by Weight Class
Middleweight -160- Rodrigo Valdés.
Flyweight -112- Prudencio Cardona.
Bantamweight -118- Miguel Lora.
Super Flyweight -115- Baby Rojas.

IBA Champions by Weight Class
Junior Welterweight-140- Antonio Pitalúa.
Super Flyweight -115- Mauricio Pastrana.
Bantamweight -118- Mauricio Pastrana.
Super Bantamweight -122- Óscar León.
Middleweight -160- Fulgencio Zúñiga.

IBC Champions by Weight Class
Junior Welterweight -140- Amancio Castro.
Super Featherweight -130- Wilfrido Ruíz.

Now let us examine both the first kids who claimed a belt and the order of the weight class in which those belts were claimed at. At Welterweight, Antonio Cervantes was the first champion. A Middleweight, Rodrigo Valdés, was Colombia’s second champion and the first one in the 160 pounds. The third and fourth champions were brothers, a unique case in our country, Ricardo and Prudencio Cardona, the former as Super Bantamweight and the later as Flyweight. The other 12 “first champions” according to their weights, are:

First Champions by Weight Class
Bantamweight -118- Miguel Lora.
Super Flyweight -115- Baby Rojas.
Welterweight -147- Tomás Molinares.
Featherweight -126- Rubén Darío Palacios.
Super Featherweight -130- Wilfrido Ruíz.
Light Flyweight -108- Mauricio Pastrana.
Straw -105- Kermin Guardia.
Super Middleweight -168- Alejandro Berrío.

World Champions by Departments
The country has 32 Departments –the equivalent of a Province in Canada or State in the USA-. According to their geographical position, they belong to one of the following five regions: Caribbean, Andean, Amazonia, Orinoquia and Pacific Coast. While soccer is the sport of the Andean zone, boxing is practiced mainly in the Caribbean Departments: San Andrés y Providencia, Guajira, Valledupar, Magdalena, Atlántico, Sucre, Bolívar and Córdoba. 85% of all Colombian champs come from the Caribbean zone. Bolívar, which has a long boxing tradition, has had 16 beltholders (38.09%), followed by Córdoba, with 9 monarchs who represent a good 21.42%. The third place is occupied by Atlántico with 5 (11.90%). Sucre and Antioquia, with 4 champions, represent the 9.52% each. The list ends with 2 guys from Magdalena -4.76%- and both Nariño and Valle with one champion each. Antioquia belongs to the Andean zone and Nariño and Valle to the Pacific.

World Champions by Cities
Cartagena: 9 – 21.42%. Rodrigo Valdés and Yonnhy Pérez are the most representative.
Montería: 5 – 11.90%. Miguel Lora, Juan Urango, Antonio Pitalúa.
Barranquilla: 4 – 9.52%. Tomás Molinares.
San Basilio de Palenque: 3 – 7.14%. Antonio Cervantes and the Cardona brothers.
San Onofre: 3 – 7.14%. Luis Mendoza and Rafael Pineda.
El Retén: 2 – 4.76%. Fidel Bassa.
16 other cities, such as Medellín, Sincelejo, Lorica and Cereté, have had only one champion and complete the other 38.08%.

Article posted on 08.02.2010

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