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STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART VIII: FLASH ELORDE, THE LONGEST REIGNING WORLD SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION


PhilBoxing.com




Gabriel "Flash" Elorde won the lineal super featherweight title in 1960. In 1963, he won the first WBC and WBA super featherweight titles. He holds the record at super featherweight division for the longest reigning title holder, covering seven years and three months.

Gabriel Elorde was born in Bogo City, Cebu on March 25, 1935 from an underprivileged family. He is the youngest of 15 children.

Elorde finished only the 3rd grade in elementary and was forced to quit school due to utmost poverty. He then began to work as a bearer of bowling balls and as a carpenter to make ends meet.

A friend of his, Lucio Laborte, a former professional boxer trained him on the rudiments of boxing which he learned to love. Elorde immediately mastered the basics of the sport and continued with his ambition to become a boxer.

Elorde made his professional debut at the age of 16 on June 16, 1951, against Kid Gonzaga. The bout was held in Cebu. The boxing neophyte stopped his foe in the 4th round.

Elorde was a sturdy built southpaw with quick hands unleashing unstoppable body attacks on his foes.

"Bai", as Elorde was known to friends and fans, fought in national, regional, and world title bouts. His first 11 fights were all in Cebu. He won 10 of the bouts but absorbed a KO in his only defeat to Kid Independence.

The next year, Elorde won the national bantamweight title over Tanny Campo in Manila by decision. After this, he went to Tokyo, where he won the Oriental bantamweight crown via 12-round decision over Hiroshi Horiguchi.

In 1953, he failed in his campaign to win the national featherweight title, losing in a 12-round decision against Larry Bataan in Manila. He was also defeated in his next fight against Japanese junior lightweight champ Masashi Akiyama in Tokyo.

The following year opened miserably for Elorde as he suffered a 12-round defeat against Shigeji Kaneko in their Orient Pacific Boxing Federation featherweight title fight. But Elorde did not give up and won over Tommy Romulo in Manila for the Philippine junior lightweight championship.

He also won by decision against one of the greatest fighters of all time, world featherweight champion Sandy Saddler in 1955 in a non-title bout.

In 1956, he was offered a rematch with Saddler, this time with Saddler's world featherweight title was at stake. But Elorde suffered a cut in his eye during the match and lost the fight by 13th-round TKO.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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