Pedro Carrasco (1943-2001) was a Spaniard boxer whose fame transcended boxing rings: During the 1970s, he was a media darling in Spain, just like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya have been in the United States.
Carrasco crowned himself European Lightweight champion in 1967. This triumph was followed four years later, in 1971, with a victory over Mando Ramos in Madrid by disqualification in 11 rounds for the WBC's world Lightweight title. The victory was marred by controversy, as Carrasco won the title while lying on the canvas: He had been hit to the head by Ramos, near the back of Carrasco's head. The fight's referee expressed confusion as to whether the blow was a legal one or an illegal one, but he decided to call it an illegal blow and raised Carrasco's hand in signal of victory. Carrasco immediately became a national hero in Spain, as he had become Spain's first world boxing champion in history.
Carrasco, who was a culturally educated fighter, became a sensation with the media and with tabloid magazines instantly, and he started to hang out with Spaniard show business stars, having his picture come out on the covers of such magazines as Hola and others many times. He got married to international singer Rocio Jurado, with whom he shared a daughter, Rocio Carrasco. He was also married to Raquel Mosquera for five years.
In 1971, and because of the controversial nature of his world championship win over Ramos, the WBC ordered a rematch, and it was fought in Los Angeles. There, Ramos beat Carrasco and lifted the title from him. They had a rubber match, and Ramos beat Carrasco again.
In 1983, the WBC selected Carrasco in their list of the greatest 40 boxers of the last 40 years.
When Carrasco died in 2001, it caused shock in Spain, particularly because of the relatively young age at which he passed away. He was 58 years old. One newspaper article read Spain cries for Pedro.
Of his 110 bouts, Carrasco won 105, 71 by knockout, which made him a member of the exclusive group of boxers with 50 or more career knockout wins.