Colombia’s “fighter of the century”, former Jr Welterweight boxing world champion Antonio Cervantes, aka “Kid Pambele”, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease on Monday.
Cervantes, who won the Jr Welterweight title two times, was admitted to a medical center in Cartagena on Monday after spending a month in bed. Doctors said he presented serious health problems, including difficulties communicating and eating.
A living boxing legend, Pambele, or “Pambe”, won his first title in 1972 when he knocked out Alfonso Frazer in Panama City in round ten.
His boxing record include 106 fights, with 91 wins, 12 losses and 3 draws. He won a stunning 44 fights by KO.
An inspirational character, Pambe grew up shining shoes and selling contraband cigarettes to survive, before becoming the only Colombian to join the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998.
At age 66, Cervantes is known for his excesses with drugs and alcohol, and has in recent years visited several rehab establishments.
Parkinson’s disease is not uncommon with boxers, with legends such as Mohammed Ali or Freddie Roach developing the disease.