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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Elorde Awards Night fetes top boxers

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
06 Mar 2019



IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, WBO minimumweight titlist Vic Saludar and IBO bantamweight ruler Michael Dasmarinas will be honored as Boxers of the Year at the annual Elorde Awards Night commemorating the 84th birthday of the late Gabriel (Flash) Elorde at the five-star Okada Manila Hotel on March 25.

It will be another Oscar-like program that the Elorde family is organizing to celebrate the sport’s top performers last year. Five fights are also on tap to spice up the festivities with Elorde’s grandson Mig defending his WBO Asia-Pacific superbantamweight title against Japan’s Shohei Kawashima. Mig, 32, is ranked No. 3 by the WBO in the 122-pound division and in line for a world title shot. Kawashima, 27, is coming off a fifth round disposal of Filipino Ronnie Campos in Kobe last October and will enter the ring with a record of 17-2-2, including 4 KOs. Mig’s record is 27-1, with 15 KOs.

The first Elorde Awards Night was held in 2000 to recognize outstanding Filipino fighters and perpetuate the memory of D’Flash. “We also want to inspire up-and-coming boxers to become champions,” said Liza Elorde who is the Awards Night’s chief organizer and wife of Elorde’s son Johnny. “We’re citing all Philippine world and international champions who made good the previous year. We’re also giving awards to the best promoter, best trainer, best judge, best referee, most promising boxer, best fight and citations to our benefactors and friends who are instrumental in the development of Philippine boxing.”

Liza said top amateur male and female boxers will be honored along with the pros. ABAP will select the best simonpures. “It’s important that all awardees exemplify the character of Flash Elorde,” said Liza.

Elorde, a southpaw from Bogo, Cebu, was a pro from 1951 to 1971 and held the world junior lightweight title for over seven years. His overall record was 89-27-2, with 33 KOs. He fought wherever the sound of the bell took him and regaled fans in the US, Japan, Thailand, Guam, Ecuador and Venezuela. Elorde was a popular figure in Japan where he saw action in 26 bouts and in the US where he performed in 17, including thrice at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Elorde died in 1985 at the age of 49 and is one of only three Filipinos enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The others are Elorde’s father-in-law, impresario Lope (Papa) Sarreal, Sr. and the late world flyweight champion Pancho Villa.

In 2016, the Awards Night institutionalized a fist-casting ceremony to honor the living legends of Philippine boxing. The initial roster of fighters whose fists were casted listed Rolando Navarrete, Rene Barrientos, Erbito Salavarria, Ronnie Magramo and Donnie Nietes. In 2017, the honorees were Dodie Boy and Gerry Penalosa, Rolando Pascua and Tacy Macalos. Last year, the fists of Manny Pacquiao and Bernabe Villacampo were casted. This year’s honorees are still being determined.

A special Award of Distinction will be given to Elorde Hall of Famers who are reigning world champions. The citation is given to a current world titleholder who has been named Boxer of the Year at least seven consecutive years. The yardstick is the length of Elorde’s reign as world junior lightweight champion. The Hall of Famers who are reigning world champions are WBO welterweight king Pacquiao, WBO superflyweight titlist Nietes and WBA bantamweight ruler Nonito Donaire, Jr.

Pacquiao was elevated to the Elorde Hall of Fame by President Gloria Macapagal at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel in 2008 after he took Boxer of the Year honors from 2000 to 2007. Nietes and Donaire were enshrined at the Manila Hotel Ballroom in 2015 as both were Boxers of the Year from 2008 to 2014.

Ancajas, 27, wrested the IBF 115-pound crown from McJoe Arroyo in 2016 and has since repulsed six challengers. His record is 30-1-2, with 20 KOs. Saludar, 28, took the WBO 105-pound title via a unanimous 12-round decision over Japan’s Ryuya Yamanaka last July. He will make the first defense of the belt against Japan’s Masataka Taniguchi tomorrow. Saludar’s record is 18-3, with 10 KOs. Dasmarinas, 26, won the IBO bantamweight crown on a fourth round knockout over Karim Guerfi in Singapore last year. He will battle Kenny Demecillo in an IBF title eliminator on March 23.


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