PANCHO VILLA GABRIEL "FLASH" ELORDE ROEL VELASCO CEFERINO GARCIA LUISITO ESPINOSA MANNY PACQUAIO BEN VILLAFLOR ERBITO SALAVARRIA ROLANDO NAVARETTE PEDRO ADIGUE, JR. GERRY PEÑALOSA SMALL MONTANA LITTLE DADO ROBERTO CRUZ SALVADOR "DADO" MARINO RENE BARRIENTOS BERNABE VILLACAMPO FRANK CEDENO DODI "BOY" PEÑALOSA TACY MACALOS ERIC CHAVEZ ROLANDO PASCUA MANNY MELCHOR ERIC JAMILI SAMUEL DURAN MELVIN MAGRAMO MALCOLM TUÑACAO ANDY TABANAS TIGER ARI ROLANDO BOHOL Asiad Gold Medallists Other Amateur Champions
Other Boxing Champions
MANSUETO VELASCO ANTHONY VILLANUEVA LEOPOLDO SERANTES LEOPOLDO CONTANCIO
Pancho Villa, who has been touted as the greatest flyweight of the century by the Associated Press, was also the first world champion from Asia. He was one of only four Asians enshrined into the New York-based International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994. He was also inducted to the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Born as Francisco Guilledo in Ilog, Negros Occidental on August 1, 1901, he began his boxing career in 1919 and adopted the name Pancho Villa after a famous Mexican revolutionary leader.
After his successful bids in the Philippines, he went to New York in pursuit of international bouts. Known for his whirlwind style, Villa, then 22, knocked out reigning world flyweight champion Jimmy Wilde of England in the seventh round at New York's Polo Grounds on June 18, 1923.
Among the opponents that he trounced were Benny Schwartz, Georgie Marks, Frankie Ash and Clever Sencio.
During his entire boxing career, Villa engaged in 99 bouts - 22 knockouts, 49 wins by decision, 5 losses, 4 draws and 19 no-decision bouts.
GABRIEL "FLASH" ELORDE
In 1974, the World Boxing Council named Gabriel "Flash Elorde" as "the greatest world junior lightweight boxing champion in WBC history" for winning 79 bouts in his professional boxing career. 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 became a world champion in the 130-pound division on March 16, 1960 when he knocked out American Harold Gomes at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City. Since then, he has defended his title in 10 bouts for seven years, making him the longest reigning world junior lightweight champion ever. He finally lost to Japanese Yoshiaki Numata in a 15-round match in Tokyo on June 15, 1967.
Elorde was born in Bogo, Cebu in 1935 and died in 1985.
A gold medal at the first Muhammad Ali Cup Invitational Boxing Championship, a silver at the 1997 World Boxing Championships, a bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and a bronze at the 1998 Goodwill Games. These are just a few of the many honors Roel Velasco has brought home from grueling international boxing competitions.
With such feats, Roel, the older brother of Olympic silver medallist Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco, is perhaps the country's most successful amateur boxer. In September 1997, Roel, a light flyweight, won the country's first gold medal in the Muhammad Ali Cup Invitational Boxing Championship. That was his third international gold medal in that year, after winning gold medals at the Italian Boxing Championship in Italy and the Balado Memorial Cup in Cuba.
In July 1998, then 24-year-old Roel also won the country's first-ever bronze medal in the Goodwill Games held in New York, USA when he outclassed an American opponent. He later lost to a Russian boxer in the semifinals to settle for the bronze. Before this, Roel won the silver medal in the World Championships held in Budapest, Hungary in 1997.
Roel was the sole Filipino medallist (outside demonstration sports) in the 1992 Olympic Games held in Barcelona, Spain. He won the Olympic bronze medal when he was only 18 years old. Roel was born in Bago City, Negros Occidental province in 1974. He is a member of the Philippine Navy.
Ceferino Garcia was the heaviest Filipino ever who became a world-boxing champion. Known for his bolo punch, he captured the world middleweight title on October 2, 1939 when he knocked out Fred Apostoli in New York. He defended his crown against top rivals twice (Americans Glen Lee and Henry Armstrong) before losing his title in May 1940. Before he switched to the middleweight division, Garcia became a welterweight champion when he knocked out boxing legend and war hero Barney Ross in 1937 and Henry Armstrong in 1938.
He was born in 1912 and grew up in Tondo, Manila. In 1977, Ceferino Garcia was inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame and into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1981.
For five years, Luisito "Lindol" Espinosa has held two different world-boxing titles: the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight crown and the World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight belt.
In 1996, Luisito Espinosa was named "Athlete of the Year" for defending his World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight crown twice. He edged out Olympic silver medallist Mansueto Velasco in the country's top athlete award. He was again feted the "Athlete of the Year" award in 1999 alongside golfer Frankie Minoza.
The five-foot-seven boxer was born in Tondo, Manila on June 26, 1967.
Manny Pacquiao, one of the finest Filipino power punchers, is an International Boxing Federation (IBF) world super bantamweight champion and a former World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight champion.
He was the first Filipino to clinch a world boxing title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena where he floored Lehlo Ledwaba of South Africa in the sixth round to bag the IBF super bantamweight title in June 2001. Before this, Pacquiao knocked out a Thai champion in the 8th round of their match in Bangkok on December 3, 1998 to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title.
Pacquiao was born in Bukidnon province (northern Mindanao) on December 12, 1976. He is married to the beautiful Jinky.
Another world junior lightweight champion was Ben Villaflor, who was only 18 years old, when he dethroned Alfredo Marcano on April 25, 1972. He lost his title to a Japanese contender but regained it seven months later. Villaflor was able to defend his crown for five times until 1976.
On December 7, 1970, Erbito Salavarria wore the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight belt when he beat a Thai world champion. On April 1, 1975, he grabbed the World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight crown from a Japanese fighter.
In August 1981, Rolando Navarrete knocked out a British boxer in the fifth round to clinch the World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight championship. Navarrete kept the title until May 1982 when he lost to a Mexican pug.
PEDRO ADIGUE, JR.
Pedro Adigue Jr. had reportedly held five different titles in his professional boxing career. His career reached its peak on December 14, 1968 when he defeated American Adolph Pruitt to bag the World Boxing Council (WBC) junior welterweight crown.
Gerry Peñalosa won the World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight crown on February 20, 1997 and was able to defend it three times until August 1998. In June 1999, he knocked out a Mexican fighter to clinch the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) North American junior bantamweight title in Mississippi. Penalosa, the brother of former world champion Dodie Boy Penalosa, was born in Cebu.
His real name was Benjamin Gan. Based in the US, Small Montana became the world flyweight champion in 1935. He kept the title until 1937.
Another Filipino who fought in the US, Little Dado kept the National Boxing Association (NBA) flyweight crown from 1938 to 1940. NBA is the predecessor of the World Boxing Association (WBA).
SALVADOR "DADO" MARINO
World Flyweight Champion.
On August 1, 1950, Salvador "Dado" Marino defeated Terry Allen and gave Hawai'i its first world boxing champion before 10,763 fans at Honolulu Stadium.
At that time, there were only eight world titles available. Marino’s record was 57-14-3, with 21 knockouts. He fought professionally on three continents.
He was born in Olowalu, Maui, Hawai'i and turned professional in 1942. He didn’t get a title shot until his 44th fight. He won the title at age 35! He lost the title to Japan’s Yoshi Shirai and retired in 1952.
Roberto Cruz knocked out Raymundo Torres in the first round to clinch the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) junior welterweight crown in Los Angeles, California on March 20, 1964. He was born in Baguio City on November 2, 1941.
Rene Barrientos became a world-boxing champion when he defeated American fighter Ruben Navarro in 1969. In particular, Barrientos was declared World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight champion of the world in Tokyo, Japan on February 15, 1969.
On October 20, 1969, Bernabe Villacampo defeated a Japanese opponent to bag the World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight crown. He kept the title until April 1970.
On September 27, 1983, Frank Cedeno defeated Charlie Magri at Wembley Arena in London, England to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight championship. He kept the title until January 1984.
DODI "BOY" PEÑALOSA
On February 22, 1987, Dodi Peñalosa, the older brother of Gerry Penalosa, beat a South Korean champion to become the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion. He lost the title to another South Korean pug in September of the same year.
Rolando Bohol beat a South Korean champion to become the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on January 16, 1988. He lost his crown to a British opponent in London in October of the same year.
On November 5, 1988, Tacy
Macalos defeated a South Korean boxer to clinch the International Boxing
Federation (IBF) light flyweight title in a bout held in Manila. Macalos he kept
the cronw until May 1989 when he lost to a Thai contender in Bangkok.
In September 1989, Eric Chavez was crowned the International Boxing Federation (IBF) mini flyweight champion of the world.
On December 19, 1990, Rolando Pascua knocked out Chiquita Gonzalez in the sixth round to bag the World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight title. He lost the crown in his first defense match in March 1991.
In September 1992, Manny Melchor defeated a Thai fighter to win the International Boxing Federation (IBF) straw weight championship. Melchor, a boxer from Oriental Mindoro province, relinquished the title to another Thai fighter two months later.
In December 1997, Eric Jamili defeated a British boxer to bag the World Boxing Organization (WBO) straw weight title. He lost the title in May 1998.
Samuel Duran became an Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) featherweight champion in 1998. He also once held the World Boxing council (WBC) international bantamweight title.
On February 14, 1998, Melvin Magramo defeated a Thai champion to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight crown in front of 10,000 Filipino fans in Las Pinas City.
On December 4, 1999, Joma Gamboa knocked out a Japanese fighter in Nagoya, Japan to become the World Boxing Association (WBA) minimum weight (105 pounds) champion. He defeated a Venezuelan boxer in August 2000 but lost the title to another Japanese opponent in December of that year.
Malcolm Tuñacao was the only reigning Filipino world boxing champion in the year 2000. At 21 years old, Tuñacao grabbed the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight crown from a Thai boxer in Bangkok on May 21, 2000 and was able to defend it for the rest of the year. Tuñacao was born in Mandaue City in 1978.
In February 2001, Andy Tabanas edged out a Thai fighter to become the leading World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior flyweight. He kept the interim title for two months.
Tiger Ari won the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super featherweight title in early 2002.
Other Boxing Champions
Among other Filipino champions who have won a world tile or figured in international boxing bouts include Manfredo Alipala, Rey Asis, Dencio Cabanella, Little Cezar, Speedy Dado (Diosdado Posadas), Johnny Jamito, Ronnie Jones, Rocky Kalingo, Baby Lorona, Pretty Boy Lucas, Orlando Medina, Benigno Clever Sison, Roberto Somodio, and Young Terror.
MANSUETO "ONYOK" VELASCO
Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco nearly clinched the country's first Olympic gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when he slugged it out with Bulgarian Daniel Bojilov in the light-flyweight finals. The controversial bout led to Velasco bringing home the silver medal. Before this, Velasco was one of the three Filipino boxers who clinched gold medals in the 1994 Asian Games held in Hiroshima, Japan.
The country's first Olympic silver medal came in 1964 when then 19-year-old Anthony Villanueva, son of 1932 bronze medallist Cely Villanueva, fought Russian Stanislave Stephaskin in boxing's featherweight finals at the Tokyo Olympics. Villanueva lost the gold in a split decision to the Russian.
Leopoldo Serantes, a light flyweight, completes the cast of Filipino boxers who have brought home five Olympic medals, and joins the father-and-son tandem of the Villanuevas and the Velasco brothers. Serantes clinched a bronze medal in the Olympic Games held in Seoul, South Korea in 1988.
Leopoldo Contancio won a gold medal in the Asian Challenge Cup in Manila in 1983.
Asiad Gold Medallists
Filipino athletes have won 12 of their total haul of 56 Asiad gold medals in boxing. Five of these 12 boxing gold medals came from the 1954 Asian Games, which Manila hosted while three came from the 1994 Asian Games held in Hiroshima, Japan.
Other Amateur Champions
Aside from the Velasco brothers, the father and son tandem of the Villanuevas and Leopoldo Serantes, other amateur boxers who have shown impressive performance in international competitions include Celedonio Espinosa, Ricardo Fortaleza, Reynaldo Galido, Roberto Janaiz, Alejandro Ortuoste, Ernesto Porto, Elias Recaido, Ernesto Sajo, and Vicente Tunacao.