boxing champion Eusebio Pedroza
Boxing champion Eusebio Pedroza (right) Image Credit: AP

Panama City: Panamanian boxing great Eusebio Pedroza died on Friday after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 62.

The Hall of Famer ruled boxing's featherweight division for almost a decade starting in the late 1970s, holding the WBA featherweight crown between 1978 and 1985.

Pedroza lost his title in a classic bout against Ireland's Barry McGuigan in London in 1985, with McGuigan winning a bruising 15-round battle at Loftus Road.

Pedroza had previously defended his title on 19 occasions, making him one of the longest-reigning champions in boxing history.

The WBA confirmed in a statement that Pedroza had recently returned home from hospital where he passed away early Friday.

"The WBA sends its most sincere words and condolences to the family and friends of the Panamanian legend, who was a worthy World Champion and above all a great human being," the WBA said.

"May the Hall of Famer and legend Rest In Peace."

Pedroza's rival McGuigan also paid tribute on Twitter.

"A sad day for me as my rival and outstanding world featherweight champion Eusebio Pedroza passes away," McGuigan wrote.

"It was a pleasure to share the ring with him."