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Panama A Cradle For World Class Boxers

By Juan Carlos Martinez


Panama has a long history of producing world class boxers, none more famous than Roberto Duran whom, although not fighting anymore, is still an international celebrity in the boxing circuit. Panama has two other promising boxers closely following Roberto Duran's footsteps, Celestino Caballero, aka Pelenchin, and Anselmo "Chemito" Moreno. 

Both are holders of international boxing titles in their categories.  Pelenchin as he is known, is the current WBA and IBF SuperBantam weight champion.  He has under his belt a total of 34 fights, of these 32 are wins and 22 are knockouts.  Pelenchin is this year looking to move up into the  featherweight class at 126 pounds and is looking for a fight with Cuban fighter Yuriorkis Gamboa, holder of the WBA featherweight championship title.

Pelenchin concurrently holds both the WBA and IBF superbantam weight titles, having unified both crowns with his fight against Steve Molitor on November 21, 2008 which garnered him the IBF title.  This feat of having two concurrent titles had only been accomplished in Panama by boxing superstar Roberto "Mano de Piedra" Duran who held both the WBA and the WBC lightweight titles at the same time, obtaining the WBC title in 1978 in Las Vegas after beating Esteban de Jesus by technical Knockout.  Pelenchin is known for his action packed, aggressive style of boxing and his willingness to fight any contender.

Pelenchin will be training in Las Vegas for the next two and a half months under Roger Mayweather, Floyd Mayweather's uncle, which is expected to bring more high profile fights and possibly a move into the featheweight category with a championship fight.

Anselmo "Chemito" Moreno was recently named by the Panama Boxing Commission "Boxer of the Year" for 2009 due to his three successful title defenses within the past year all outside of Panama against Wladimir Sidorenko in Germany, Mayhar Monshipour in France and the last against Frederick Patrac in Agde, France.  Chemito Moreno currently holds the WBA Bantamweight title.   He has 22 wins with 8 knockouts, 1 loss and 1 draw.  He is also known as the Ghost for his ability to duck his opponents punches.

As of end October Panama had 29 world champions.  Traditionally Panama's boxers come from low income neighborhoods and turn to boxing as a way out, this is the case for Roberto Duran born in El Chorrillo, Celestino Caballero from Colon and Anselmo Moreno from El Martillo.  Anselmo Moreno is currently training for his next fight in a gym in Curundu and will soon move to Anton, Cocle to continue his training.



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