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Elorde Award returns after 3 years, honors Philippines’ finest boxers

THE GABRIEL “Flash” Elorde Boxing Awards Banquet of Champions is making a return on March 25 with a bang, honoring the country’s finest boxers for three straight years after a long hiatus due to the pandemic.

Marking its 23rd anniversary, the prestigious awards in honor of the great Flash Elorde will honor the top performers in 2020, 2021 and 2022 both in the professional and amateur ranks as announced by Johnny, one of Mr. Elorde’s seven children.

Headlining the list of awardees are eight-division world champion and former Senator Manny Pacquiao along with four-division titlist Nonito Donaire, Jr., who will be cited with Special Award of Distinction for their incomparable contributions to Philippine boxing highlighted by multiple world titles through the years.

Messrs. Pacquiao and Donaire were previously elected into the Elorde Hall of Fame several years back during the heydays of their storied boxing career.

“After three years, we are finally back to recognize the accomplishments of more Filipino upcoming boxing stars and current world champions every year,” Mr. Elorde, the husband of Liza who is also the event’s annual head organizer, announced.

Seven champion fighters in the pros will share the Boxer of the Year award led by 2019, 2020 and 2021 IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, and 2019, 2020 and 2021 WBO bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero.

Joining them are Pedro Taduran (2019, 2020 IBF minimum weight) Rene Mark Cuarto (2021, 2022 IBF minimum weight champion), Mark Magsayo (2022 WBC featherweight), Dave Apolinario (reigning IBO flyweight) and Vic Saludar (2019, 2021 WBO and WBA minimum weight).

The Elorde Awards will also recognize amateur fighters Nesthy Petecio (silver), Carlo Paalam (silver) and Eumir Marcial (bronze), who brought home medals in the Tokyo Olympics, as well as the 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games medalists.

Other awards to be handed out are Fight of the Year, Most Promising Boxer, Best Manager, Best Trainer, Best Referee, Special Awards to benefactors and boxing’s most influential people, and best amateur fighters along with the 23 Philippine champions and 62 world/international/regional champions.

The annual awarding ceremony will also mark the 88th birthday of Filipino ring legend and icon Gabriel Elorde and will serve as tribute to his wife, Laura Elorde, who died peacefully in May 2020 at his residence in Parañaque City.

A bevy of pro boxing fights as part of its long tradition is also scheduled starting at 3 p.m. before the ceremony proper. — John Bryan Ulanday

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