By Diego Morilla.
Returning to the ring after an absence of more than 22 months, former welterweight contender Luis Carlos Abregú endured a disastrous, career-ending loss in front of his local crowd in Salta, Argentina this past Saturday, Sept. 24. In a shocker, Abregu was dropped three times by Juan Carlos Pedrozo before being knocked out on his feet in the third round of what was later known to be an unsanctioned bout.
True to his nature as a hard puncher with a questionable chin, Abregú, nicknamed “The Colt,” came out swinging in round one but was quickly surprised with a counter left cross from a southpaw stance by the right-handed Pedrozo, an awkward but tough road warrior who entered the bout with a record barely above .500.
Abregú rose on unsteady legs and shook off the initial disappointment, recovering to return the favor to Pedrozo when he floored him with a hard straight right seconds after the end of the first episode of what was shaping up to be an emotional bout.
The switch-hitting Pedrozo continued fighting from his stiff, stationary southpaw stance through the second round, but it wasn’t until the third round when he finally was able to catch Abregú with another left cross that sent him down again in a neutral corner. Up by four, Abregú had not fully recovered when Pedrozo launched a brutal assault that drove Abregú to the opposite neutral corner for a terrible beating.
After a series of unanswered punches to the head, referee German Garcia called a halt to the bout when only the ropes were holding Abregú upright, albeit momentarily. The native of Tucuman, who lived in Salta for most of his professional life, crumpled to the canvas while the referee was waving it off and his aides rushed into the ring to assist him.
At that moment, one of the members of Abregú’s entourage swung wildly in a 180-degree twist and punched Pedrozo in the head twice before being restrained.
Although no official retirement announcement has been made, it is quite clear that Abregú has reached the end of a career that once held a lot of promise in a golden era of Argentine welterweights that included such fighters as Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and Sergio Martinez (a welter-super welterweight for most of his career).
Abregú lost his unbeaten streak to Timothy Bradley in 2010, and then defeated then-unbeaten contender Thomas Dulorme in his best effort in October of 2012. Six months later he defeated Canada’s Antonin Decarie on the Sergio Martinez-Matthew Murray undercard in Buenos Aires. After a stay-busy fight in his hometown, he was stopped by Sadam Ali in a crossroads fight between two top contenders in Atlantic City in November of 2014.
The match with Pedrozo this past Saturday was not officially sanctioned by the local Argentine boxing federation due to what was perceived as a “lack of equivalencies” in the careers of Abregú and Pedrozo, with the latter deemed unfit to produce a credible performance (Pedrozo had lost eight of his last 10 fights, six inside the distance, and his license was suspended a few times for lack of activity and other issues). Therefore, the local federation of the province of Salta went ahead and sanctioned the bout without the approval of the national federation, providing its own judges and referees.
With the win, Pedrozo moved up to 11-8 with 9 KOs, while the 32-year old Abregú exits the ring (and hopefully, his tenure as a professional prizefighter) with a resume of 36 wins against only three losses, with 29 stoppage victories.