UK & World News

  • 26 February 2014, 4:11

Ex-Boxing Champion Cermeno Shot Dead

A former boxing world champion has been found shot dead on a road after he was kidnapped in his native Venezuela.

Antonio Cermeno and some of his relatives had been seized on Monday night near the La Urbina area of the capital Caracas.

The relatives escaped when the kidnappers stopped to refuel a car, but the ex-boxer remained a hostage, police said.

His body was discovered in the central state of Miranda.

Cermeno, 44, was a WBA super bantamweight and featherweight champion in the 1990s. He retired in 2006 with a 45-7 record.

He won the super bantamweight title after defeating Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez in 1995 and kept it until 1997.

In 1998 he won the featherweight title and held on to it until a year later.

After he retired, he helped young sportsmen.

His murder comes after 29-year-old Monica Spear, a popular soap-opera actress and former Miss Venezuela, was killed early in January.

She and her British ex-husband Thomas Henry Berry, 39, were shot dead by robbers as they returned by car to the capital with their young daughter.

The high-profile killings in the country have highlighted spiralling violent crime - one of the reasons for recent protests.

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