When Antonio Cervantes travelled to Puerto Rico to defend his WBA Light-Welterweight Championship
versus (4-1 Underdog) 17 1/2 year-old Wilfred Benetiz on March 6, 1976, there were rumors about the
possibility of a 'tank job'.
The 30 year-old Columbian, had wanted to retire, and had become frustrated when his Manager - Ramiro Machado
could not secure a 'big money bout' with WBA Lightweight Champion - Roberto Duran for early-1976.
Though plans were in the works for a May 1976 bout, negotiations had stalled.
'Kid Pambele' had a 'great 1975' by defeating Esteban DeJesus in a 'one-sided' 15-Round Decision in April 1975,
and then stopped #1 WBA Challenger - Hector Thompson by a TKO 8 (cut-eye stoppage) in November 1975.
Both bouts were suprisingly held at the Gimnasio Nuevo in Panama, (Roberto Duran's home-country). In each
bout, the 5' 9" Champion had looked near invincible, with his spear-like left jab, and quick hard right-hand leads.