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Alfredo Evangelista


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The only boxer from Uruguay to have any kind of success as a pro, Alfredo Evangelista fought out of Spain and was awarded the 1985 Spanish fighter of the year award. He held the European title twice, first from 1977 to 1979 and then in 1987. Evangelista was a hard hitter but didn't have the best chin it seems, since he was koed in 5 rounds by Leon Spinks-who was not a particularly hard hitter. He was also taken out in 7 rounds by Larry Holmes, a guy who usually took longer to stop first class opponents. However, Evangelista was a long-lasting and durable fighter who had a pro career spanning 13 years, with 79 bouts, of which he won 62 (43 by ko), lost 13 and drew 4.

Alfredo Evangelista Chamorro was born in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, on 3 December 1954. He was known as "The Lynx of Montevideo", because of his fighting spirit and aggressiveness. He stood 6'1 1/2 (187 cm) and was both trained and managed by Eddie Mafuz, who also before trained Isaac Logart. He relocated to the Spanish capital of Madrid to start a pro career in October 1975. After going 14-0-1, he lost for the first time against Italy's probably best heavyweight of the 70's, Lorenzo Zanon, on points in 8 rounds. Despite of this, he got a fight against Muhammad Ali next! As Ali was already past his peak, his management was obviously looking for someone they regarded as an easier opponent. The fight was on 16 May 1977 in Landover, Maryland, and Evangelista gave the champion a much tougher fight than predicted, but lost clearly on all scorecards. Stats showed him outlanding Ali clearly in the power punches landed. Evangelista earned 85 K for the fight while Ali got as much as 2.7 million.

On 9 September that year, Evangelista faced the French heavyweight champion Lucien Rodriguez for the European title, in his adopted hometown of Madrid. He was victorious and despite getting knocked down in the fifth, he stopped Rodriguez by TKO11. 2 months later, on 26 November, he went to Brussels to fight the Belgian hopeful Jean Pierre Coopman and impressively stopped him by KO1. He made his second successful defence against British Billy Aird, on points. These wins landed him a fight against the new big man in the division-WBC champion Larry Holmes. They fought at Caesars Palace on 10 November 1978 and Holmes used his famed left jab to badly bruise up the face of the challenger, before he nailed him in round 7 with a perfect right hand and that was it. Afterwards, Holmes said:"It wasn't an easy fight. We trained hard." 

The Lynx from Montevideo went back on track by defending his European title for the third time against Dante Cane in Bologna, Italy, and winning by KO4. He once again fought Lucien Rodriguez in the fourth defence and this time won more impressively, by KO2. He finally lost the title in his fifth, in a rematch with Lorenzo Zanon, on 18 April '79, on points, in Torino. Zanon just seemed to have his number. In July that year, he tried to win the Spanish title, but was denied in a draw against the 15-0 Felipe Rodriguez. After scoring 7 more wins, he was matched against Leon Spinks in Atlantic City, 12 January 1980. Spinks was obviously in great shape, for he would go on to stop the dangerous puncher Bernardo Mercado later that same year. He went on to knock out Evangelista late in the 5th. After 5 more wins, he once again took on Felipe Rodriguez for the Spanish title and once again fought him to a draw.  On 16 June 1981, he would experience another devastating loss to Greg Page, who knocked him out in 2 rounds at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

It seemed now that his career had gone downward and he also lost his rubber match against Lucien Rodriguez on points, for the European title, 7 June 1982. However, he bounced back with a surprising victory against the hot contender Renaldo Snipes, winning by SD10 in Richfield Coliseum, on the undercard of Michael Dokes-Gerrie Coetzee fight, 23 September 1983. After losing 8-round decisions to Hughroy Currie, Steffen Tangstad and Patrick Lumumba, he finally managed to reclaim the European title on 8 January 1987, by stopping Andre van den Oetelaar by TKO5. However, this time his reign would be much shorter and only 2 months later, 28 March in KB Hallen Copenhagen, he was stopped by the gigantic Swede Anders Eklund, by KO7. 6'6 Eklund weighed in 238 1/2 to Evangelista's 228. This was the last time Evangelista would fight for a title and he lost decisions to Pierre Coetzer and Adilson Rodrigues, before winning his last fight against journeyman Arthur Wright by KO2, 15 April 1988 in Madrid. He was 33 when he retired, but an old 33. 

Evangelista still lives in Madrid today and is regarded as one of the best Spanish heavyweights, despite being from Uruguay. He is also the only Uruguayan to fight for the world heavyweight title, and twice. Alfredo Evangelista was definitely a skilled enough, quality boxer, but it seems he never developed his skills fully, because he has some losses to fighters who can be called average. He didn't look to be in best shape always, either, which can probably be blamed for those losses. At his best, on his best night, he could be a worthy opponent for any champion, but at his worst, he was simply far from that level. He was obviously a hard hitter, since he scored some big knockouts in higher level fights. Thank you.

AlfredoEvangelistaDos.jpg

 

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