Monday, May 4, 2009

GABRIEL "FLASH" ELORDE

Gabriel Elorde

Gabriel "Flash" Elorde (March 25, 1935 – January 2, 1985) is widely considered as one of the greatest Filipino boxers of all time along with fellow super featherweight slugger Manny Pacquiao and flyweight champion in the 1920s, Pancho Villa . He was born and raised in the town of Bogo, Cebu. He was much beloved in the Philippines as a sports and cultural icon, being the first Filipino international boxing champion since Pancho Villa.

Person

Elorde won the world super featherweight title on March 16, 1960 by knocking out Harold Gomes in seven rounds. He defended the crown 10 times until June 15, 1967 where he lost a majority decision to Yoshiaki Numata. This made him the longest reigning world junior lightweight champion ever (seven years and three months). He also outpointed all time great featherweight champion Sandy Saddler in 1955 in a non-title bout. In 1956, he was given a rematch with Saddler, this time with Saddler's featherweight title on the line. However, Elorde suffered a cut in his eye and lost the fight on a 13th round TKO.

Elorde also challenged lightweight Carlos Ortiz for his world title on two occasions. He was stopped both times by Ortiz in the 14th round.

Elorde retired with a record of 88 wins (33 KOs), 27 losses and 2 draws and was named "the greatest world junior lightweight boxing champion in WBC history" in 1974.

After his retirement, Elorde remained in the Philippines within the public eye, prominent as a popular commercial endorser, especially for San Miguel Beer. In fact, his San Miguel Beer TV commercial (together with Bert Marcelo and Rico J. Puno), wherein he famously said the words ".... isang platitong mani" (one plate of peanuts), was recently named as the No.1 Filipino advertisement of all time.

A chain smoker, Elorde died of lung cancer at the age of 49.

Elorde has a grandson named Juan Martin "Bai" Elorde, who is also a professional boxer.

Honors

In 1993, he became the first Asian inducted into the New York-based International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was also enshrined into the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Elorde's father-in-law, Lope Sarreal, one of Asia's most prominent boxing promoters, was later inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Elorde was also voted the 78th best fighter by the Ring Magazine's writers in 2002 when the Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years was released.

Gabriel Elorde

Gabriel "Flash" Elorde (March 25, 1935 – January 2, 1985) is widely considered as one of the greatest Filipino boxers of all time along with featherweight slugger Manny Pacquiao. He was born and raised in the town of Bogo, Cebu. He was much beloved in the Philippines as a sports and cultural icon, being the first Filipino international boxing champion since 1920s boxer Pancho Villa. He is one of the 1960 TOYM Awardees.
Elorde was the WBC Junior lightweight (Super Featherweight) champion from March 20, 1960 until June 15, 1967 and WBA Super featherweight champion from February 16, 1963 to June 15, 1967 making him the longest reigning world junior lightweight champion ever (seven years and three months). He also outpointed all time great featherweight champion Sandy Saddler in 1955 in a non-title bout. In 1956 he was given a rematch with Saddler, this time with Saddler's featherweight title on the line, but Elorde suffered a cut eye and lost the fight on a 13th round TKO.

Elorde also challenged lightweight Carlos Ortiz for his world title on two occasions. He was stopped both times by Ortiz in the fourteenth round.

Elorde retired with a record of 87 wins (33 KOs), 27 losses and 2 draws and was named "the greatest world junior lightweight boxing champion in WBC history" in 1974.

After his retirement, Elorde remained in the Philippines within the public eye, prominent as a popular commercial endorser, especially of San Miguel Beer. In fact, his San Miguel Beer TV commercial (which he made with Bert Marcelo and Rico J. Puno) wherein he famously said the words ".... isang platitong mani (one plate of peanuts) was recently named as the No.1 Filipino advertisement of all time.

He also remained active in the field of boxing.

A chain smoker, Elorde died of lung cancer at the age of 49.


In 1993, he became the first Asian inducted into the New York-based International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was also enshrined into the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Elorde's father-in-law, Lope Sarreal, was one of Asia's most prominent boxing promoters who was himself later inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

GABRIEL ELORDE

Si Gabriel Elorde na lalong kilala bilang "Flash" Elorde ay ipinanganak noong Marso 25, 1935 sa Bogo, Cebu. Siya ay nagmula sa isang mahirap na pamilya.

Si Elorde ay nakaabot lamang ng ikatlong baitang ng elementarya. Siya ay nagtrabaho bilang tagapulot ng bola sa bolingan at bukod dito, sa kanyang murang edad ay naranasan niyang magtrabaho sa konstruksyon.

Ang kanyang pagiging boksingero ay nagsimula nang siya ay turuan ng kanyang kaibigang si Lucio Laborle na isa ring dating boksingero. Dahil sa masigasig na matuto at matupad ang mga pangarap, mabilis na natutuhan ni Flash ang mga natatanging paraan sa larangan ng boksing. Ang kanyang pagsisikap ay nagbunga nang makamit niya ang unang karangalan noong 1951. Dito ay tinalo niya si "Kid" Gonzaga sa ikaapat na duwelo sa pamamagitan ng desisyong "Technical Knock-Out". Noong Marso 16, 1960, tinalo naman niya si Harold Gomes sa ikapitong duwelo at dito niya nakamit ang korona sa pagiging "Junior Lightweight." Magmula noon ay sunudsunod na ang kanyang pagwawagi bilang isang propesyonal na boksingero sa iba't ibang kategorya.

Halos ang buong buhay ni Flash ay ginugol niya sa pagiging isang boksingero. Nagsimula ito nang siya ay 17 taong gulang pa lamang. Dala lamang ng pagtanda kung kaya't siya ay nagretiro. Subali't sa kanyang pagreretiro ay nakatala na ang kanyang mga karangalang naiambag sa bansang Pilipinas sa larangan ng boksing.

Si "Flash" ay binawian ng buhay noong Enero 2, 1985 sa sakit sa baga.




GABRIEL ELORDE


Titles: junior lightweight champion 1960-1967

Record: 88-25-2 (34 K.O's)

Born: March 25, 1935 in Bogo, Cebu, Philippines

Years active: 1951-1971

Nickname: Flash

Elorde is the hero of the modern-day Filipino fan and almost singlehandedly helped to legitimize the jr. lightweight division. The youngest of 15 children he would begin to box for pay at the age of 16 and within a year had won the national bantamweight title. Elorde was a solidly built southpaw whose major asset were his fast hands and good body attack. Before Elorde became a attraction on the world stage he was already a national hero in the Philippines wining national and Asian titles from bantamweight to lightweight. In his first 14 fights he suffered 2 defeats and 1 draw before coming into his own. He defeated Tanny Campo and Hiroshi Horiguchi both in 12 round decisions to win the Philippine and Asian bantamweight titles. Elorde became a attraction on the world scene when he twice fought Sandy Saddler in foul ridden fights. The first fight saw Elorde wear down Saddler in the heat of Manila in a over the weight match which meant the title was not at stake. The second of fight for the featherweight world title is considered by many as one of the best fights of the 50's and saw Saddler win via a 13th round TKO due to a cut over Elorde's eye. At the time of the stoppage Elorde was ahead on points. For the next 2 years Elorde fought in America and Asia waiting for a title shot. Elorde won the jr. featherweight title by stopping Harold Gomes over 7 rounds in Quezon city in 1960, in a return bout it took him less than 2 minutes to dispatch of Gomes. Elorde went on to make 10 successful defenses, including several in Manilla. During his reign Elorde twice lost in attempts to win the lightweight title from Carlos Ortiz, loosing both bouts by 14th round TKO's. Still at jr. lightweight he ruled with style and took on all comers. Good fighters such as John Bizzaro, Ismael Laguna, Joey Lopes, Rene Barrientos all fell to Elorde. The title reign of Elorde came to a end at the hands of Yoshiaki Numata over 15 rounds in the challengers home town. Elorde took a year of before returning but his best days were clearly behind him and lost his next 3 bouts, still he fought on until the age of 36. Elorde became a leading promoter in the Philippines working with his father in law. Elorde became a chain smoker in retirement and died of lung cancer in 1985 at the age of 49.

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