Today, the World Boxing Council commemorates 100 years of boxing in Venezuela, by recalling great moments and milestones that have been part of the development of this sport in this Latin American country.
We begin by remembering the fight at the Variety theater-cinema of Maracaibo, between Daniel Alvarado “El Rayo del Catatumbo” and the American Ernest Swanberg, who won by KO in the first round.
Multiple versions exist about this historical fact; however, this passage is remembered by all Venezuelans as the day the sport of boxing began its history. One of ups and downs where there have been very important characters involved I. the foundation of this sport as one of the favorites of the Venezuelan people.
Here are some of those moments and characters:
He was the first important promoter of this region, through hard work he organized the best fights in the 60’s and 70’s
Rafito Cedeño, considered the greatest promoter of Venezuela.
Rafito Cedeño, born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. He propelled the boxers to the summit in their respective divisions. Venezuelans Luis “Lumumba” Estaba, Betulio González, Rafael Oronó and Carlos “El Morocho” Hernández. The Greats.
“Gordo de Oro” as many nicknamed him elevated the boxing career of Colombian José Antonio Cervantes “Kid Pambelé” who twice became champion.
Beginnings of Anti-doping Tests:
Maracaibo was the first city that my dad worked as a fight supervisor. This trip would take on a lot of meaning because due to a great conflict, the WBC started the mandatory anti-doping testing program.
During the fight, Don José saw how in the corner of the main fight, a team gave liquid from a strange little bottle between rounds to a fighter. He got up and confiscated said bottle and brought it to Mexico, sent it to a laboratory and it turned out to be amphetamines.
First 12-round fight was held in Venezuela
The first world title fight scheduled to 12 rounds in the history of the WBC was promoted by Rafito Cedeño: it was that of the Venezuelan Rafael Oronó in defense of his World Boxing Council super flyweight title, on that occasion he won by K.O. in four rounds over the Panamanian Pedro “Pellín” Romero. The battle took place at El Poliedro in Caracas, Venezuela on January 31, 1983.
Great World Champions of Venezuela
Luis Lumumba Estaba:
A late starter in boxing, Estaba became a professional in 1967, at the relatively old (for boxing) age of 29. He beat Pedro Garcia by a knockout in one on February 28 of that year.
He kept his winning streak until losing a ten round decision to Natalio Jimenez in Caracas in 1968. He avenged that loss immediately by defeating Jimenez in his next fight, by decision. After two more wins, he had his first fight abroad, when he lost to Jimenez, again by decision, at Santo Domingo.
In 1975, Estaba became boxing’s second world champion ever in the Super flyweight division, when he obtained the vacant WBC title by knocking out Rafael Lovera, who was making his professional debut during this world title bout. He knocked Lovera out in round four September 13 of that year. He defended the title 12 times, including victories over former or future world champions Franco Udella, Rafael Pedroza, and Netrnoi Vorasingh. In 1977, he was named Venezuelan Athlete of the Year.
His luck ran out in 1978, when he lost the title to Mexico’s Freddie Castillo by a knockout in round 14 on February 19. After beating Ricardo Estupinan by a decision in 15 to win the Central American title in his division, he challenged Vorasingh (who had beaten Castillo) for the world title. Estaba lost by a knockout in five rounds on July 29, in what he knew would be his last fight as a professional, because local Venezuelan boxing laws ban anyone over 40 years old to box professionally, and Estaba turned 40 only two weeks after that fight.
Being forced into retirement, he left the sport of boxing with 41 wins, 9 losses and 2 draws, 27 wins having been by knockout.
Rafael Orono; First super flyweight world champion in WBC history.
In Caracas, Venezuela, and with the promotion of Rafito Cedeño, local Rafael Oronó defeated South Korean Seung Hoon Lee by split decision in 15 rounds and became the first super flyweight world champion in history. This division was created by the WBC. The meeting was presented at the New Circus and the referee was Orlando Fernández. Yong Soo Chung and Ladislao Sánchez acted as judges.
Carlos Morocho Hernandez; The first world boxing champion from Venezuela
Carlos Enrique Hernández Ramos, called “Morocho” or “Kid Helicoide”, is considered by many to be the most complete Venezuelan boxer of all time. He had elegant boxing, fine technique and a devastating punch.
Jorge has been three times world champion
He debuted professionally as a boxer in December 2002, trained by the Teiken Boxing Gym team. There he was supervised by Sendai Tanaka and Antonio Esparragoza, who was trained by Tanaka’s teacher, Amilcar Brusa, who gave Linares the nickname El Niño de Oro.
In 2014 he won his first world title: defeating the Mexican Javier Prieto in Kokugikan, Tokyo, where he lifted aloft the WBC lightweight title.
A natural big puncher. He had twenty-seven wins with twenty-seven knockouts and during his short and resounding career he conquered the super featherweight and lightweight divisions.
We make honorable mention of a proud Venezuelan. Nicolas Hidalgo, one of our most beloved and active members of our organization. Honorable friend and human being. Outstanding Ring official. Excellent member of the WBC ratings committee.