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Dong Secuya
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BOXING GREAT FLASH ELORDE TO HAVE STREET NAMED AFTER HIM IN CEBU


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU CITY – Cebuano boxing great and hall of famer Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde will have a street named after him here with the unveiling of the new street marker scheduled this Sunday with Elorde's widow Laura, their children and family members to grace the affair. Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña will head the local officials who will host the event.

The tribute has been initiated by the Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) to honor Elorde as “one of the Cebuano greats.”

The old street that has to be renamed to Elorde is Ganciang street in Barangay Mambaling, a street that connects F. Llamas street to Maria Gochan.

CHAC executive Florentino Boligor has informed Philboxing that the unveiling ceremony will be held at the Our Lady of Fatima Chapel located near the corner of Ganciang street and Bayabas street starting at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. A mass will be celebrated. Boligor also informed Philboxing that the city ordinance renaming Ganciang street to Elorde had been enacted in 1985, the year Elorde died, but had not been implemented until now.

Elorde (March 25, 1935 – January 2, 1985) fought as a professional boxer from June 6, 1951 to May 20, 1971 and accumulated a record of 89 wins, 27 losses and 2 draws with 33 knockouts and fought some of the most memorable fights in Philippine boxing history.

One of Elorde's greatest victories was his 7th round knockout win over Harold Gomes of the United States where he knocked down the defending champion six times to capture the world super featherweight title in the inaugural opening of the Araneta Coliseum on March 16, 1960 in front of 36,000 rabid home fans. Elorde went on the successfully hold on to the title for seven years and 91 days becoming the longest reigning Filipino world champion, a record that would stand for more than 50 years until Donnie Nietes surpassed it in 2013.

In 1983, Elorde was honored as the greatest junior lightweight champion ever at the 20th anniversary banquet of the World Boxing Council (WBC) in New York City. In 1993, Elorde was enshrined at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. He was the first Asian to be given such an honor.

Described by the late journalist Ronnie Nathanielsz as “a champion who feared no man but humble to all men”, Elorde was born to Luis Elorde and Luisa Sanchez of Bogo, Cebu. He was the youngest of 16 children. Elorde later worked as a shoeshine boy, dishwasher, street vendor and construction worker when, at age 16, he approached and told a manager of a boxing gym in Cebu, “Sir, I want to be a champion.”

In 1954, Elorde married his manager Lope (Papa) Sarreal's daughter Laura who bore him seven children: Maria Luisa, Gabriel Jr. (Bebot), Johnny, Teresa, Marty, Rita, and Maria Laurita. Only Johnny got into boxing who later won a gold medal during the 1979 Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta. Today, two of Elorde's grandson's are prominently figures in the world rankings with Juan Martin holding the WBO Oriental lightweight title and Juan Miguel tucking in the WBO Asia-Pacific Jr. Featherweight belt.

The annual Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde Boxing Awards Banquet of Champions has been established by Elorde's son Johnny and Johnny's wife Liza to honor the great Cebuano champion and has now become a coveted and inspiring annual event by aspiring Filipino boxers.

With the naming of a street in his honor, Elorder's name, who has become a pride to the Cebuanos, surely will not be forgotten for generations to come.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.


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