Freeman Cebu Sports

Pancho Villa

SPORTS EYE - Raffy Uytiepo - The Freeman

A lot has been said said of Ilonggo athletes like Olympic marathoners, Herman Suizo and Vertek Buenavista, Jimmy De La Torre and Rudy Fernandez. How about boxers Onyok Velasco, Roel Velasco, William Magahin and Leopoldo Serantes, swimming’s Haydee Coloso Espino (Asia’s swim queen), who won 10 medals in three Asian Games. In shooting, we have Nelson Uygongco while Monsour Del Rosario reigned supreme in taekwondo. Inocencia Solis was formerly Asia’s fastest woman, winning the gold in the 100m in the1958 Asian Games. Of course it’s a crime not to mention one-legged triathlete Rudy Fernandez, who won medals at Pesta Sukan (which later became the Sea Games). Grandmaster Eugene Torre is Asia’s first grandmaster who recently was inducted to Chess World Hall of Fame.  He is the only player to defeat then world champion Anatoly Karpov and served as Bobby Fisher’s second in the 1992 tournament versus Boris Spassky. But long before the athletes I mentioned came into view, there was a  first Asian who became a world champion in boxing. Enter Pancho Villa (real name Francisco Villaruel Guilledo). I don’t know if he’s related to Freeman’s Manny Villaruel. Guilledo was born in La Carlota, Negros Occidental in 1901. After being abandoned by his father, he ventured to Iloilo to work as a bootblack at age 11. After moving  to Manila, he hanged out with boxers who eventually saw his potential. He was adopted by boxing patron Francisco Villa who gave him the name “Pancho Villa”. Three months  after arriving in America, the 5 feet-42 kilo Ilonggo, knocked out an American flyweight. Then on June 18,1923, he knocked out then world flyweight champ Jimmy Wilde of Wales, the first Asian to win a world championship belt.  His last fight was a non-title bout with Jimmy McLarnin on July 4, 1925 in Oakland. Guilledo lost the bout via decision as he was still weak after an extraction of a wisdom tooth that resulted into an infection. He also had another three teeth extraction and was advised to rest, instead he ignored his dentist’s advise and induldged in parties, worsening the infection. He died on July 14, of Ludwig’s Angina (an infection of the throat cavity).  He was 24 years old.  In 1964, he was selected to the International Boxing Hall Of Fame.

NOTE: Guilledo got his name Pancho Villa, initially a bandit who became a general in the Mexican Revolution.  He later became governor of Chihuahua.

Iloilo chessers on the prowl

The Iloilo Kisela Knights is on a rampage in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP)  Season 2. Last Wednesday, the Knights defeated Zamboanga, 13.5-7.5, before clobbering a hapless Tacloban team 17.5-3.5, which was reinforced by Jimmy Ty. Then last Saturday, Iloilo continued its winning streak by blasting Isabela 13-8, behind a balance attack of GM Joey Antonio, NM Rolly  Parondo, NM John Silvederio, Fiona Guirhem and Karl Viktor Ochoa, who each scored 2 points in the Rapid. Isabela was led by NM Edmund Gatos and IM Joel Banawa.  Then the Ilonggos upset defending champion Laguna in the first encounter of South versus North 16-5.  Again almost everybody in the Iloilo team scored while Laguna was reinforced by Cebuano GM Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla, and supported by FM Efren Bagamasbad, IM Angelo Young and WNM Jean Karen Enriquez. Laguna could only score 3 points in the Rapid with  two points coming from Barcenilla.


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