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Nehomar Cermeno


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A talented scrapper who twice made Anselmo Moreno work extra hard, both times losing by split decision, Nehomar Cermeno is one of the best Venezuelan boxers of this century. As well as most successful, winning three world titles, one at bantamweight and two at super bantamweight. At 5'6 and with a reach of 69 1/2 ", Cermeno was fairly tall and rangy for those divisions also. None of his world title reigns lasted that long, but he lost both his titles to world class boxers. He won 27 fights, 16 by ko, lost 8 and drew 1. 

Nehomar Andres Cermeno Febres was born 7 June 1979 in Barcelona, Venezuela, a coastal town that lies right in the middle of the Venezuelan coastline. He first boxed as amateur and won the 1999 Pan American Games silver medal at 54 kilos (super bantam) and also participated at the World championships of that same year in Houston, but lost in the first round on points. He also represented his country at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and won his first fight on points, but lost the second one to Agasi Agaluoglu of Turkey, who went on to win the bronze. Cermeno relocated to Panama to start a professional career, on 7 December 2004, first fighting at 122 pounds. After winning 5 fights there, he went down to 118 or bantam division, where he would first make his mark. On 21 March 2006, he won the WBA Fedecaribe title by TKO7 against Leopoldo Arrocha. He also won the WBA Fedelatin title in his next fight, when he decisioned Leonardo Vicente Fernandez in 10 rounds. 

After going 16-0 with 10 ko's, he faced Cristian Mijares of Mexico, equally tall and clever boxer, on 14 March 2009 in Torreon, Mexico, for the WBA interim title. Cermeno the underdog surprised everyone when he won by a split decision and thus became the champion for the first time. They had a rematch on 12 September and this time Cermeno won by UD. He ended the year on 19 December by knocking out Alejandro Valdez in 11 in his second defence. He then faced the full champion Anselmo Moreno of Panama, 27 March 2010, at home in La Guaira, Venezuela. It was a very close fight, but Cermeno got a point deducted and lost by a split decision to the ultra-clever Moreno. Their rematch was held in Panama City on 14 August and once again it ended as a split decision win for Moreno. It wouldn't get much better soon, as he also dropped a SD to Victor Terrazas in a WBA super bantam eliminator, 29 January next year. He would compete as a super bantamweight from there on.

On 25 June that year, he experienced his first stoppage loss against Fernando Montiel, as he was hit by a body shot in round 2 from which he could not recover and had to give it up after the end of the round. Later that same year, he fought to a draw against the 13-0 Cuban Yoandris Salinas. On 4 April 2012, he fought Alexander Bakhtin for the WBA International title and lost by a wide UD to the 23-0 Russian. 2013 was a better year for him, as he first won the WBA Fedelatin title by KO2 against Eduardo Garcia and then won the WBA interim title against Oscar Escandon, who was 22-0 coming in. Cermeno won by SD. However, he had to give that title up since he was forced to be inactive the next year and came back in October 2015. He had two fights at featherweight, first one ended as a no-contest after 2 rounds and the second one he won by UD9(?). He went to Beijing, capital of China, to fight for the vacant WBA SB title on 24 June 2016 against their hopeful Xiaojun Qiu. He was ahead on all cards when he stopped Qiu in the 12th round by TKO and was thus a full champion for the first time. 

On 30 September that year, he defended his title for the first time against the 17-0 Anurak Thisa of Thailand and impressively won by KO3. In his second defence on 17 December, he again faced Qiu and this time won by UD. On 9 April next year, he went to Osaka, Japan, to fight Shun Kubo, 11-0 at the time. Although Cermeno put Kubo down in round 7, he had to retire after the 10th round and thus lost his title. The scorecards were divided at the time but all very close, two favoring Cermeno by 95-94 and one Kubo by the same score. In his next fight that same year, 3 October in Datong, China, he again got injured against Can Xu and had to retire after the 7th. It was a fight for the WBA International feather title. In 2018, he fought Duarn Vue in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and lost by a somewhat close UD. He retired after that, but came back for the last time (probably) in 2021 to fight the 4-1-4 John Valencia, whom he easily beat by TKO1 in Panama City.

Nehomar Cermeno can be called somewhat unlucky, since he lost some important fights either by a split decision or corner retirement/injury. He was no doubt a very capable and tough fighter and was never knocked out for real but all his stoppage losses (three of them) came due to not being able to continue. He should also be praised for his willingness to fight abroad and travel far distances, such as China and Japan. After Jorge Linares and Edwin Valero, he is likely the best Venezuelan boxer in this century so far.

Nehomar Cermeño Heads to China

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