Titles: WBA featherweight champion 1972-1974 Record: 41-4-2 Born: May 23, 1948 in Colon, Panama Years active: 1966-1974 Nickname: Nato Marcel was a two fisted puncher who could either wear down a strong opponent with precise blows or overpower weaker foes within 3 rounds. On defense Marcel was above average and way above average for a latin fighter of the time. Marcel with a strong upper body blocked many punches with his arms rather than slipping punches. Ernesto Marcel was also one of the very few boxers who had the courage to retire while still world champion, never trying to make a futile comeback. After all what better way to retire than by defeating Alexis Arguello in your last title defense! Marcel was the most overlooked of boxers produced by the golden age of Panamanian boxing that included Roberto Duran, Alfonso Frazer, Enrique Pintor, Jorge Lujan and Eusebio Pedroza. All 1970's world champions! Of Marcel's 4 losses two came within the first 3 years of his career while still learning his craft, both were also avenged via knockout. The one person he did not defeat in a rematch (maybe because it was never offered) was to the only man who was able to knock Marcel out, the legendary Roberto Duran. Early on in the career of Marcel he would fight in his home town of Colon building up a loyal following although he would never fight for a national title. In 1969 Marcel would first gain national and international acclaim by twice defeating veteran Eugenio Hurtado, once in Colon and once on neutral ground in Panama City. The wins landed Marcel two pay days in Mexico. They came against world rated Aurelio Muniz whom Marcel defeated over 10 tough rounds and journeyman Chano Herrera in Acapulco via a second round knockout. Those fights set Marcel up for a national showdown with the Panamanian prodigy known as Roberto Duran. It was a match of the two best fighters in the land. Duran while not yet a champion and still growing into a lightweight would take the fight to Marcel and pressure him. Marcel was not able to establish any rhythm against a buzz saw of a fighter, slowly Duran was doing what Marcel had so often done to his foes. Duran was wearing Marcel down and ultimately Marcel fell in the 10th round unable to stagger back to his feat. Seven wins over the next year and a half over good opposition would set Ernesto back up as a legitimate world title challenger. The first title challenge for Marcel ended in a 15 round draw with Kuniaki Shibata in the champions home town. Ten months later Marcel would finally win his world title when he once again had to travel to his opponents home town. This time however he clearly outpointed Antonio Gomez over 15 one sided rounds. Marcel would make 4 successful title defenses, all against very good opponents. After his title win Marcel scored a knockout over Enrique Garcia in a easy defense. Marcel also had good instincts and when he was offered big money to fight Leonel Hernandez in his hometown he accepted the offer but did not put his title on the line. It proved to be a wise act, Hernandez was awarded a controversial decision win. Marcel came back home with his title but his ego bruised. Ernesto retained his title over Antonio Gomez via 12th round TKO in the rematch of their first title encounter. In his next title defense Marcel knocked out number 1 rated Shigemitzu Nemoto. In what was perhaps his best win as champ Marcel dominated future champ Samuel Serrano in a 10 round non title contest. Marcel proved too savvy for the younger, faster and stronger foe. It was a masterful display of experience over youth. Marcel's fourth and last defense came when he defeated Alexis Arguello. The fight with Arguello was a grueling, close contest that made up the mind of Marcel that even in beating the best available contender he would not want to carry on. The fight opened slowly with both men feeling each other out for weaknesses, Arguello while advancing and forcing the action was not scoring with any regularity. As the bout wore on Marcel began to time and foresee the younger mans punches. The middle rounds were hard to score, but the last 4 rounds were clearly in favor of the champion. The scores were close but unanimously in favor of Marcel. Four months after the bout Marcel made his surprising retirement announcement, never making a comeback. I have not been able to find out what has happened with Marcel since his retirement?
- 1966 - Apr-12-1966, Panama City, Valentin Worrell KO1 May-22-1966, Panama City, Guillermo Porter W 4 Jul-14-1966, Colon, Carlos Harris D 4 Aug-28-1966, Colon, Leroy Cargill W 4 Sep-25-1966, Colon, Luis Rodriguez W 4 Dec-4-1966, Panama City, Herbert Luck KO 5 - 1967 - Feb-26-1967, Panama City, Lazaro Fruto KO 2 Apr-1-1967, Panama City, Santos Pena KO 3 May-20-1967, Colon, Agustin Cedeno W 8 Jul-2-1967, Colon, Miguel Riasco L 8 Sep-13-1967, Colon, Mario Molo W 6 - 1968 - Mar-17-1968, Colon, Encarnacion Guerrero W 6 Apr-22-1968, Panama City, Agustin Cedeno L 8 Oct-17-1968, Caracas, Frank Leroy W 8 Nov-16-1968, Colon, Zenen Rios KO 9 Dec-21-1968, Colon, Agustin Cedeno KO 9 - 1969 - Jan-19-1969, Colon, Camy Beto W 10 Feb-13-1969, Colon, Juvencio Guerrero KO 5 Mar-22-1969, Colon, Eliodoro Pitalua KO 6 Apr-26-1969, Colon, Eugenio Hurtado KO 6 May-11-1969, Panama City, Eugenio Hurtado W 10 Jun-17-1969, Colon, Jose Gonzalez KO 7 Jul-19-1969, Colon, Julio Davis KO 3 Aug-17-1969, Colon, Bernardo Caraballo KO 2 Oct-4-1969, Colon, Freddie Rengifo KO 2 Dec-13-1969, Colon, Miguel Riasco KO 8 - 1970 - Mar-7-1970, Monterrey, Aurelio Muniz W 10 Mar-20-1970, Acapulco, Chano Herrera KO 2 Jun-16-1970, Panama City, Roberto Duran KO by 10 Aug-1-1970, Panama City, Miguel Riasco W 12 Oct-31-1970, Panama City, Alfredo Marcano W 10 Nov-21-1970, Panama City, Wilson Yambo KO 3 - 1971 - Jan-23-1971, Panama City, Angel Macias KO 6 May-4-1971, Caracas, Alfredo Marcano W 10 Sep-12-1971, Panama City, Jose Arranz KO 5 Oct-2-1971, Colon, Mani Roque KO 3 Nov-1-1971, Matsuyama, Kuniaki Shibata D 15 (For the W.B.C., Featherweight title) - 1972 - Feb-5-1972, Panama City, Jose Smecca KO 1 Jun-10-1972, Panama City, Jose Luis Lopez KO 2 Aug-19-1972, Maracay, Antonio Gomez W 15 (Wins W.B.A., Featherweight title) Dec-2-1972, Panama City, Enrique Garcia KO 6 (Retains W.B.A., Featherweight title) - 1973 - Mar-17-1973, Maracay, Leonel Hernandez L 10 May-19-1973, Panama City, Ramiro Bolanos W 10 Jul-14-1973, Panama City, Antonio Gomez TKO 12 (Retains W.B.A., Featherweight title) Sep-8-1973, Panama City, Shigemitzu Nemoto KO 9 (Retains W.B.A., Featherweight title) Dec-5-1973, Panama City, Samuel Serrano W 10 - 1974 - Feb-16-1974, Panama City, Alexis Arguello W 15 (Retains W.B.A., Featherweight title)