Azumah Nelson

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Azumah Nelson
Class of 2004
Modern Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Azumah Nelson
Alias: The Professor
Born: 1958-07-19
Birthplace: Accra, Ghana
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 5″   /   165cm
Reach: 68″   /   173cm
Boxing Record: click

Azumah Nelson Gallery

Amateur Career

  • Amateur Record: 50-2
  • 1978 All-Africa Games Featherweight Gold Medalist in Algiers, Algeria.
  • 1978 Commonwealth Games Featherweight Gold Medalist in Edmonton, Canada. Results:
    • Defeated Siaosi Poto (Samoa) RSC 2
    • Defeated Guy Boutin (Canada) PTS
    • Defeated John Sichula (Zambia) PTS
  • 1978 CISM Military World Championships Featherweight Gold medalist in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • 1979 World Cup Light Welterweight Bronze Medalist in New York City, United States. Results:
    • Defeated Brian Tink (Australia) RSC 3
    • Lost to Serik Konakbaev (Soviet Union) RET 3

Pro Career

  • Stopped in fifteen rounds by WBC Featherweight Champion Salvador Sanchez at Madison Square Garden on July 21, 1982. Nelson took the fight on short notice after Mario Miranda pulled out with an injury. Sanchez died in a car accident the following month.
  • Stopped Wilfredo Gomez in eleven rounds to win the WBC Featherweight Championship on December 8, 1984.
  • Defeated Mario Martinez by a twelve-round split decision to win the vacant WBC Super Featherweight Championship on February 29, 1988.
  • Challenged Pernell Whitaker for the WBC/IBF Lightweight Championship on May 19, 1990, and lost by a twelve-round unanimous decision.
  • Successfully defended the WBC Super Featherweight Championship with a controversial draw against Jeff Fenech on June 28, 1991.
  • Had a rematch with Jeff Fenech on March 1, 1992, and stopped him in eight rounds to retain the WBC Super Featherweight Championship. It was named The Ring Magazine Upset of the Year.
  • Lost the WBC Super Featherweight Championship to Jesse James Leija by a twelve-round unanimous decision on May 7, 1994.
  • Fought Jesse James Leija four times: Nelson was 1-2-1 against Leija.
  • Regained the WBC Super Featherweight Championship with a fifth-round TKO of Gabriel Ruelas on December 1, 1995. Nelson was named The Ring Magazine Comeback of the Year fighter for 1995.
  • Nelson's longtime trainer, Jose "Buffalo" Martin, was killed in a car accident on January 4, 1998.
  • Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.
  • After a ten-year layoff, 49-year-old Nelson fought 44-year-old Jeff Fenech, who had not fought in twelve years, on June 24, 2008. Fenech won by a ten-round majority decision.
  • Has a record of 18-4-2 (12 KOs) in world title fights.
  • Has a record of 9-6-2 (4 KOs) against former, current or future world titlists:

Preceded by:
Wilfredo Gomez
WBC Featherweight Champion
1984 Dec 8 – 1988
Succeeded by:
Jeff Fenech
Preceded by:
Julio Cesar Chavez
WBC Super Featherweight Champion
1988 Feb 29 – 1994 May 7
Succeeded by:
Jesse James Leija
Preceded by:
Gabriel Ruelas
WBC Super Featherweight Champion
1995 Dec 1 – 1997 Mar 22
Succeeded by:
Genaro Hernandez