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Sports

Best southpaws ever

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star

Of the worlds top 10 all-time best fighting southpaws, two Filipinos made it to the list created by writer Steve Maguire in the book “Boxing Top Tens” – Flash Elorde and Manny Pacquiao. The others in the elite cast were world featherweight champion Freddie Miller of Cincinnati, WBC superfeatherweight and lightweight champion Hector (Macho) Camacho of Puerto Rico , world welterweight champion Young Corbett III of Italy, WBC/WBA featherweight champion Vicente Saldivar of Mexico, world middleweight champion Tiger Flowers of Georgia, Lew Tendler of Philadelphia, WBC/WBA/IBF middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler of Newark and IBF/WBC lightweight, IBF superlightweight, WBC welterweight and WBA superwelterweight champion Pernell Whitaker of Norfolk.

For the record, among the Filipino southpaws who reigned as world champions were Gerry and Dodie Boy Peñalosa, Rolando Navarrete, Ben Villaflor, Bernabe Villacampo, Morris East, Jerwin Ancajas, Rolando Pascua, Marlon Tapales, Dave Apolinario, Florante Condes, Pedro Taduran and Eric Jamili.

Heres Maguires tribute to Elorde: “Manny Pacquiao has taken away a title that many have felt Gabriel Elorde held for years: the greatest fighter ever to be produced by the Philippines. But that doesnt deny Flash other praises. Not only was Elorde a gifted southpaw, he was one of the best junior lightweights in boxing. Whether he could have defeated Pacman or not is conjecture yet it would have been an interesting fight to say the least. Elorde had a slick jab and effective left uppercut and he put combinations together nicely. After defeating Harold Gomes for the championship in 1960, Elorde made 10 defenses until 1966. Elorde overcame height and reach disadvantages when he defeated power puncher Sandy Saddler in a non-title bout in 1955, at the time, Saddler was regarded as the world featherweight champion. The win earned Elorde a second fight with Saddler, this time with Saddlers title on the line. In what was Elordes first appearance in the US, the bout was held in San Francisco in 1956. Elorde again gave Saddler trouble and was ahead on points going into round 13. However, the fight was stopped due to a cut above Elordes eye. While Elorde might no more be considered the best fighter to come out of the Philippines, he remains one of the best southpaws of all time.”

Heres Maguires tribute to Pacquiao: “Pancho Villa has been regarded as the best fighter from Asia. Flash Elorde was considered to be the greatest fighter from the Philippines. Pernell Whitaker has ranked as the sports all-time No. 1 southpaw. These three exalted honors now belong to Pacquiao. In addition to Elorde and Villa, there are many other fighters from the Philippines who helped trail blaze the path for PacquiaoCeferino Garcia, Small Montana, Villaflor and Navarrete. Today, the best boxer out of the Philippines and the sports all-time No. 1 southpaw is Pacquiao, a former 105-pound fighter managing to keep his speed and power as high at 154 pounds while capturing eight division titles. Its quite astonishing.”

MANNY PACQUIAO

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