Alfredo Evangelista (tied for 192)
December 3, 1954
6’1½” / 208-242½lbs
61-13-4-0(41) from 10/10/1975 to 4/15/1988 (12y6m)
1-6-0-0(0) against the top ten
0-3-0-0(0) against linear champions
0-2-0-0(0) against hall-of-famers
1 fight for the linear championship – 0-1-0-0(0)
Fights against the top ten: W-SD-10 Renaldo Snipes, L-UD-15 Muhammad Ali, L-KO-7 Larry Holmes, L-UD-12 Lorenzo Zanon, L-KO-5 Leon Spinks, L-KO-2 Greg Page, L-UD-10 Adilson Rodrigues
-3 total score (1 + -5 + 0 + 1)
Alfredo Evangelista came to prominence in the late 1970s. The “Lynx of Montevideo” was a prospect in ’75 and ’76, fighting out of Spain and occasionally his native Uruguay, stopping former contender Jose Urtain along the way. In his 16th fight, he lost a decision to Italian fringe contender Lorenzo Zanon. Despite the loss, Evangelista was chosen 3 months later for a shot at Muhammad Ali’s linear crown. Ali was fading, and nearing the end of the line. Evangelista followed the pattern becoming typical of Ali’s late ’70s reign – a strong contender defeated narrowly or controversially followed by a weaker fringe contender. Jean-Pierre Coopman followed Ali’s third fight with Joe Frazier. He then took on a tougher customer in Jimmy Young, followed by the less impressive Richard Dunn. Ken Norton came next, then followed by Evangelista. Despite his standing as the low ebb in Ali’s title defenses, Evangelista came to fight. He didn’t embarrass himself, but even a faded Ali was far too high a hurdle, and the Uruguayan lost a wide decision.
He rebounded with 9 straight wins, 7 by way of knockout, and received a shot at his next great opponent, then-rising contender Larry Holmes. Evangelista was no match for the future champion, losing every round, and receiving quite a bit of facial damage before being dropped for the count in the 7th by a big right cross. Despite his power and aggression, he rarely landed on the taller, faster Holmes, and was handily outboxed before being caught. Evangelista’s ceiling appeared to be set at this point.
He would go 9-1-1(7) over his next 11 fights, losing a decision to old rival Zanon for his lone loss during that span. In January 1980, he took on his third linear champion, one-time Ali conqueror Leon Spinks. In an entertaining slugfest, Spinks battered Evangelista, dropping him in the 5th round with a series of wide hooks and crosses.
Evangelista’s pattern of several wins followed by a loss to a top fighter would continue from there, though the losses would start to happen with fewer wins in between. 8 wins and a draw followed the Spinks loss, leading up to a quick 2nd round knockout to Greg Page. A record of 8-1-1 would follow that loss, leading into a fight with contender Renaldo Snipes. Evangelista surprised Snipes, scoring his only win over a top ten opponent, a ten round split decision. A decision loss to novice club fighter Hughroy Currie came immediately after the Snipes win, and things started going downhill after that. Evangelista scored a few more wins after the Currie loss, but would also lose decisions to Steffan Tangstad, Pierre Coetzer, and Adilson Rodrigues, and was knocked out in 7 by Anders Eklund. Evangelista would eventually retire after a final win in 1988.
Alfredo Evangelista would never be a great fighter. With his aggressive and somewhat sloppy style, he was an awkward challenge, never letting an opponent feel comfortable, even when losing. He had good power and a great deal of determination, which helped keep him competitive with all but the elite. Evangelista was a frequently recurring name during a transitional era of the heavyweight division, and should be remembered for his toughness and grit.
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