Elordes preserve family tradition
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - January 1, 2018 - 12:00am

There are two brothers in the late Flash Elorde’s bloodline preserving the family’s tradition in boxing. They’re grandsons of D’Flash who ruled the world superfeatherweight division for over seven years up to 1967 and retired from the ring in 1971 at 36 with a record of 89-27-2, including 33 KOs.

Flash Elorde is one of only three Filipinos enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. The others are Pancho Villa and promoter Lope (Papa) Sarreal. Elorde died in 1985 at 49. He made 10 successful defenses of the world crown in the 130-pound division.

The fighting Elorde brothers Juan Martin and Juan Miguel are sons of Johnny, who won a gold medal in boxing at the 1979 SEA Games, and Liza Vicencio. Johnny’s brothers Bebot and Marty are also involved in boxing. The family manages fighters, promotes boxing shows and operates fitness gyms.

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Juan Martin, 33, is a former WBO Asia Pacific superfeatherweight titlist. Last Dec. 9, he was halted by Isa Chaniev at 1:52 of the sixth round in an IBF Intercontinental and WBO International unification lightweight championship bout in Nazran, Russia. Juan Martin’s record fell to 23-2-1, with 10 KOs. His only other setback was a four-round decision to Texas’ Angel Rodriguez in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito main event at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington in 2010.

Juan Miguel, 31, is the reigning WBO Asia Pacific superbantamweight ruler with a record of 24-1, including 13 KOs, seven in the first round. His only loss was a four-round verdict to Texas’ Jerry Guevara in Las Vegas in 2011. He is ranked No. 6 by the WBO.

The loss to Chaniev was a bitter blow to Juan Martin, known as Bai, because it came with his wife and two children watching at ringside. “I never went down and wasn’t badly hurt,” said Bai. “I thought the referee (Benny Decross of Belgium) stopped it too soon. I was still defending myself on the ropes. I don’t think Chaniev is world championship caliber, at least not yet, maybe with more experience. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to box. I know I’ll miss boxing if I quit.”

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Johnny said whatever is Bai’s decision, he’ll support. “I think Bai can beat Chaniev in a rematch,” said Johnny. “We’ll look at his options. I don’t think he’s retiring. Maybe, he thought about it at the spur of the moment. But it’s all up to him. Mig (Juan Miguel) is set to defend his crown in Manila in February.” Another son is also a professional athlete – Nico who plays for GlobalPort in the PBA.

Both Elorde brothers are tall for fighters in their division as Bai is 5-7 and Mig, 5-8. It’s difficult to carry the name Elorde in the ring because of the fans’ expectations. D’Flash was one of the greatest Filipino fighters ever and left a legacy that has made it a tough challenge for others with his surname to follow in his footsteps. But Bai and Mig must be credited for even trying to live up to their grandfather’s name in the ring. No matter how far they go as fighters, they’ll be remembered for preserving a rich family tradition in the Sweet Science.

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