“He was a father, a husband, a grandfather and a personable person. I think he leaves with the memory of being, above all, a good person, which is the best thing you can leave in people’s memory. “That is the description of the boxer Manuel Rodríguez Perdomo ‘Kilovatio’, who died last Tuesday at age 80, in the words of Becky Rodríguez, one of the three descendants who left her marriage to Digna Pérez Melián.
‘Kilovatio’ developed his career in was golden boxing in the Archipelago with a flashy title: Canary Islands bantamweight champion in 1960 after surpassing Chinea, representative of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He retired five years later and on the way he left combat of the period since he debuted with victory against Ray Ross in La Gallera. But above the victories, the defeats, the applause and the cheers, ‘Kilovatio’ left with a fuller picture of his life on the ring: friendship. “He did not like to boast of his victories or the battles won. More than with the triumphs, he kept telling us that he stayed in boxing with the humanity he found in him,” recalls Becky Rodríguez.
And there appears an endless list of names with which he formed a gang: Kid Tano, Pillo, Paquillo, Sergio Santana, Vicente ‘the Student’, Servando Vera, Boro Domínguez, Angelito or Kid Daniel … Because his friends and kicking around the areas of Triana, Alcaravaneras and Lugo were his routine after retirement after a life of work in Unelco. “He met many people from his time there. That and eating at La Marinera with my mother was his great luxury. ‘Tummy full, heart happy’. It was his motto“says her daughter.
In Unelco He found his nickname on the ring: ‘Kilowatt’, but also a way to help his neighbors whenever he could. “He was in charge of the power outages and more than once gave a hand to those who could not pay late bills,” he says. Natural from Tafira, he settled first in San José, then passed through Lomo Blanco and, finally, arrived at the San Cristóbal Industrial Estate, where he was a well-known and appreciated neighbor.
A “tough man” who did not like much about hospitals, although for a year he had to get used to the occasional visit. Boxed against cancer and left in room 787 of the Insular Hospital with infinite thanks to those who accompanied him in those last days [en especial a Bea]. ‘Kilovatio’ leaves a widow (Digna), three children (Israel, Becky and Digna) and two grandchildren (Bibiana and Jorge). That and the legacy of his punches in the glorious era of boxing in the Canary Islands.