Pacman and Other Famous Pinoy Boxing Aliases
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Fri, 22 May 2020
Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes.
Boxing in the Philippines as elsewhere is essentially and historically both sport and entertainment spectacle.
Hence while boxers from way back are wont to use their real names, some would want to adopt some sort of aliases or noms de guerre to hide or as alternate identification with their real names.
Significantly, there have been instances where some of these aliases became more known both locally and internationally. For example the AKAs Pancho Villa, Small Montana and Little Dado became more known than the real named persons as Francisco Guilledo, Benjamin Gan and Eleuterio Zapanta, respectively. On the other hand, when the aliases Flash, Pacman and Ahas are mentioned, there are no mistaking their reference to Gabriel Elorde, Manny Pacquiao and Donnie Nietes.
Over the decades, boxing fans here and abroad have heard and became familiar with many of these intriguing and interesting battle names.
Here in order, to me are some of the most famous Filipino boxing aliases:
1. Pacman--- Manny Pacquiao has become so globally famous that people have forgotten the video game character from where his camp derived the alias. Pacman aptly describes the way he "gobbles up" his opponents and world boxing championship titles-- a record high of eight. He previously used the alias Kid Kulafu starting out as a teen.
2. Flash or Da Flash---Until Pacman Pacquiao, this was the most widely known Filipino boxing alias locally and internationally and Gabriel Elorde certainly gave justice to his alternative name especially during his seven years long championship career in the 60s as world junior lightweight king.
3. Pancho Villa/Small Montana/ Little Dado-- as mentioned in the intro above, these aliases were more known than the real names of these great prewar and wartime Pinoy boxing idols fighting mostly in the US ring. In fact, Guilledo as Villa was more known in the US than the real Pancho Villa, the marauding Mexican revolutionary bandit.
4. Ahas (Snake/Serpent)---Even ring announcers abroad would not fail to mention this in their formal introduction of Donnie Nietes and they know what it means and that Donnie is as deadly as the real one. Nietes first became known for this alias when he brought a real, live snake wrapped around his shoulders into some of his early fights.
5. Bolo Punch/ Puncher---Before Cuban great Kid Gavilan adopted and became also famous for it, Ceferino Garcia was well known and almost synonymous for a striking blow akin to slashing sugar canes in the field using a sharp bladed implement. Whenever the bolo punch is employed in fights even today, historical reference is often usually made of Garcia and Gavilan.
6. Bad Boy from Dadiangas-- At a time when most fighters would want to highlight their positive attributes, Rolando Navarette took the opposite direction and became famous for his bad boy name and persona, alas more notoriously outside the ring also. But his being a bad boy stem from his naughtiness with attractive women resulting to some run in with the law enforcers. And as a young aspiring fighter by oftentimes breaking training and local curfew regulations, going out and staying up to late at night bystanding, ogling passing chicks.
7. Lindol (Earthquake/Tremor)---Luisito Espinosa quite belatedly adopted this nickname following the calamitous 1990 Great North Luzon Earthquake and after rudely shaking and shocking Thailand by knocking out their latest ring hero Khaokor Galaxy inside one round one night in Bangkok.
8. The Rock--- Pedro Adigue aptly fitted the alias and the literal meaning of his true first name when he reigned as Philippine and Oriental lightweight king and later world junior welterweight champion in the late 60s and early 70s. Adigue was a precursor of Pacquiao, toppling opponents bigger and heavier than him, including then future long reigning Japanese world light middleweight champion Koichi Wajima.
9. The Hawaiian Punch---Actually a line of pure blooded Filipino fighters born or based in Hawaii one after the other was given this alias from as early as Dado Marino in the 50s, Ben Villaflor in the 70s , Andy Ganigan and Jesus Salud in the 80s abd 90s and most recent Brian Viloria in the 2000s. But Ganigan, especially before and during his epic battle versus Alexis Arguello and Viloria, during his world championship runs and reigns became more famous using it.
10. The Filipino Flash---To me, this is the least famous in this list because there is only one original Flash, Elorde and he is a Filipino. However, in his latest boxing resurgence, Nonito Donaire seems to give justice and new meaning to his somewhat less creative and unimaginative nom de guerre. And boxing pundits are taking serious note and are using the alias more in reference to Donaire.
Toy Bulldog (Dommy Ursua adopted this alias from prewar American boxing great Mickey Walker and used it well in a highly eventful through not so fruitful career in the early 60s);
Young Terror (a popular alias used exclusively throughout his career by Fulgencio Cabangon, a Basilan born feared fighter during the 60s who became Philippine junior lightweight champion);
The General (Pedro Taduran fittingly gives honor to his mother by adopting her maiden surname General as alias),
Pretty Boy (Jerwin Ancajas has adopted this name but Pretty Boy Lucas was more known for it in the 90s),
Braveheart (Gerry Penalosa had this alias but it was not as known as his real name).
Other notable Pinoy ring aliases, in no particular order:
Real Monster/Monster Slayer Johnriel Casimero
Marvelous Marvin Sonsona
Eagle Eye Malcolm Tunacao
Boom Boom Rey Bautista
Bazooka AJ Banal
Little Pacquiao Florante Condes
Gintong Kamao Drian Francisco
Komong Bato Rodel Mayol
Gentle Giant Rev Santillan
Sugar Cane Carreon (1960s)
Gatilyo Roberto Gonzales
Fancy Dan de Guzman (1980s)
Rambo Cris Saguid (1990s)
Speedy Dado Diosdado Posadas (prewar)
Tiger Ari Eder Olivetti (1980s)
Cobra Ari Blanca (1980s)
Ancient Arthur Persley (1960s)-locally based American fighter
Sugar Federico Bonus (1960s)
Tiny Cesar Palacio (1960s)
Rush Dalma Dalmacio de Luna (prewar)
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at email@example.com and by phone 09215309477.
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