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Hugo Pastor Corro


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After Carlos Monzon, this guy was surely the best middleweight Argentina ever produced. That boxing powerhouse of a country was known for its brawlers and hard hitters, but Corro was an anomaly-a technician, as smooth and clever as there ever could be in that country. At 5'8 he was rather short for a middleweight but he knew how to make up for this. He was also a tough cookie who only got stopped three times in 59 bouts, twice at the end of his career. He boxed under the alias of "Itaka". Here is the story of one of Argentina's smartest boxers.


Hugo was born in Eusebio Bustos, Mendoza county, 5 November 1953, and lived in Mendoza city, near the Chilean border. Like Monzon, he came from a Gaucho (half-Indigenous half-Spanish) family. He turned pro before turning 20, in August 1973, winning his first fight by a TKO6 against Gaston Diet. He went 12-0-1 before first being upset against Hugo Inocencio Saavedra, losing by KO8 to the more experienced fighter, 8 November 1974. He avenged the loss on 27 September next year, winning by PTS10. On 10 December 1976, he won the Argentinian title by TKO3 against the debutante Julio Medina. On 9 May next year, he won the South American title in Lima, Peru, by SD12 against Marcelo Quinones. He defended it twice, first by a TKO2 against Nolberto Freitas and then on points against Antonio Alejandro Garrido. He then received the offer to fight the reigning undisputed champion Rodrigo Valdes, who was now regarded as the best middleweight after Monzon's retirement. He had to go to San Remo in Italy to fight, 22 April 1978 at Teatro Ariston. He gave Valdes a boxing lesson as he made him miss frequently, while scoring almost at will with his own punches. Despite outclassing Valdes, all three judges had a rather close score of 147-144, but all were for Corro, who could now call himself the world champion and no.1 middleweight. He made his first defense at home in Buenos Aires, 5 August at Estadio Luna Park. His opponent was the 24-0 Ronnie Harris, an extremely clever and tricky boxer, who hadn't lost a fight since 1967, when he was an amateur of course. Needless to say, this time it was a lot harder for Corro but in the end, he got a split decision and kept his title. Scoring referee scored it for Corro by 145-143, while the second judge had it 146-145 for Corro and the third favored Harris by 146-144. He made his second successful defense in a rematch with Valdes and this time won by a shutout on two of the scorecards and a near-shutout on the third against the faded Colombian puncher.


Few thought or expected that the man who would end his reign could be someone like Vito Antuofermo. The fight was in Monaco this time, 30 June 1979 and Corro had a good first half, but then Antuofermo took over and according to reports won 6 of the last 7 rounds, to take the title by a split decision. The scores were 146-145 and 143-142 and 146-145 for Corro-a very close fight, no doubt. Antuofermo used his shoulders to pin Corro against the ropes and then fire away combinations, it seems he simply was too tough and strong for Corro to overcome. Corro retired briefly after this disappointment, coming back first in 1981, but after losing his second comeback fight by MD10 to Antonio Alejandro Garrido in Chile, he retired again. He came back one more time, in 1988. After winning two easy fights, it was however clear he was just a shadow of his old self, as he first lost tu unheralded Miguel Angel Maldonado on points and then got blown out in 1 round by Juan Domingo Roldan-the new Argentinian middleweight star. After drawing in his next fight, he lost once again by KO4 to Hugo Antonio Corti, on 17 February 1989, and that would be his last fight. His record is 50 wins, 26 by ko, 7 losses and 2 draws.


Despite being a defensive technician, Corro was hardly featherfisted, since a little over 50% of his victories came by stoppage. He simply preferred outboxing his opponents. In his later years, he suffered from a liver disease and died from it on 15 June 2007, aged only 53. He has been largely neglected by today's boxing writers, which is a shame. He was the only fighter to defeat a prime Ronnie Harris and despite Rodrigo Valdes being past his best, Corro had much less trouble against him than Monzon. Which again shows how good he was. Thank you.

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