When we talk about true legends few rival Gabriel "Flash" Elorde. The Filipino great has left a last impact on the sport and his family have kept his name alive in boxing, with his grandchildren still being active fighters. The name "Flash Elorde" is one of the that every fight fan should be aware of, whether they follow the Asian scene or not. He was one of the early Super Featherweight greats and one of the most significant Asian fighters of all time.
Whilst Elorde is a legend there are lots that fans aren't aware regarding him, his career and his life. With that in mind here we bring you 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Flash Elorde
1-Elorde was part of a big family, being the youngest of 15 children
2-Elorde dropped out of school at a young age due to the financial issues of his family, who were extremely poor.
3-After making his professional debut in June 1951 Elorde fought at least once every year up to 1971 apart from 1968. Amazingly he managed to cram a staggering 11 bouts into his first 6 months as a professional and 21 bouts into the first 18 months as a professional
4-Although Elorde fought a staggering 118 professional bouts he only fought 88 unique opponents. He fought 22 opponents more than once, including Teruo Kosaka, who he fought 5 times, Shigeji Kaneko, who he fought 4 times, and Isao Ichihara, Tommy Romulo and Masashi Akiyama, who he fought 3 times each.
5-Not only was Elorde a world champion but he was also a 4-time OPBF title holder. He was a 2 weight OPBF champion, winning both the Bantamweight and Lightweight titles, he is also the only 3-time OPBF Lightweight champion and he was also the first 4-time OPBF champion!
6-Whilst we've had a host of Filipino southpaw world champions in recent years, notably Manny Pacquiao, it's worth noting that Flash Elorde was the first. He was the country's 6th world champion, but their first southpaw to reach the top of the sport. Also with 11 defenses of the lineal Super Featherweight crown he had more defenses than anyone else. His 7 defenses of the physical WBC and WBA Super Featherweight title was a Filipino record until Donnie Neites set 9 defenses with the WBO Light Flyweight title, the WBO wasn't even formed until after Elorde passed away!
7-Elorde held, and defended, the OPBF Lightweight title at the same time as holding the WBA and WBC Super Featherweight titles.
8-Rather oddly Elorde lost both the OPBF Lightweight and the unified Super Featherweight titles to the same man, Yoshiaki Numata. He did that in excessive June's. He lost the OPBF, then known as OBF, title in June 1966 and the WBA and WBC world titles to Numata in June 1967.
9-Elorde was featured in a number of adverts, notably for San Miguel Beer.
10-Elorde was a chain smoker and sadly paid the price, dying of lung cancer in 1985 at the age of 49, just months short of his 50th birthday
We've all heard of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and we've decided to put our spin on things with "Six degrees of separation" looking to connect Asian fighters you may never have assumed were connected! Today we connect former the legendary Gabriel "Flash" Elorde to Akira Yaegashi!
Just as ground rules, we're not doing the more basic "A beat B who beat C who beat D" type of thing, but instead we want to link fighters in different ways. As a result we will limit A fought B connections, and try to get more varied connections together, as you'll see here! We also know there are often shorter routes to connect fighters, but that's not always the most interesting way to connect them.
1-During his lengthy and successful career Flash Elorde was stopped just 4 times in 118 bouts. The first of those stoppage losses came in his 10th professional bout, by a fighter who was known as "Kid Independence" on October 16th 1951.
2-Whilst Kid Independence is certainly not a fighter we expect many to know anything about, other than now being in shock that such an unknown stopped the iconic Elorde, he did fight a handful of others of note. They include Kyo Noguchi, who beat him in 1960, in one of Independence's final career bouts.
3-In the 1960's Kyo Noguchi was a fairly notably fighter in the Asian scene. He wasn't just a Japanese Flyweight champion but also had title shots at both the OPBF and the World Flyweight titles. His father was Susumu "Lion" Noguchi, himself a pre-war Japanese champion at Welterweight, pre-dating the JBC by several decades. This makes them the first father-son Japanese national champions.
4-Whilst the Noguchi's are regarded as the first father-son Japanese champions, they aren't the only ones. Another example of this is the Teraji's, Hisashi and Kenshiro, and the Naito's, Cassius and Rikki.
5-As an amateur Rikki Naito fought scored a number of notable wins on the domestic scene. Among those was a win over Koki Inoue.
6-Of course Koki Inoue, who is the current Japanese Light Welterweight champion, comes from a fighting family himself. His cousins are Naoya Inoue and Takuma Inoue, and his trainer is his uncle Shingo Inoue. It's not his family we're connecting to but an Ohashi Gym stable mate, in the form of Akira Yaegashi!
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).