The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - The 2008 Annual Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Boxing Awards and Banquet of Champions will honor Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao for the eighth straight year as well as three world champions of the past year in ceremonies to be held during the 74th birth anniversary of the Da Flash on March 25 at the Manila Hotel Tent City.
Pacquiao, the Philippines’ most prominent boxer since 2001, will receive the distinct honor as the World’s Best Pound-for-Pound Boxer during the ninth Elorde Memorial Boxing Awards where Filipino national, international and world champions of 2008 will gather for the country’s most prestigious awards in professional boxing.
“The Elorde Memorial Awards had bestowed the highest honor in boxing to our very own Manny Pacquiao during the last seven years. Last year we inducted him into the Elorde Hall of Fame after he became the first boxer to earn the highest award for the seventh straight year.
“Now we are conferring on him another distinctive honor – the Best Pound For Pound Boxer Award – for which he is acclaimed the world over,” said Laura Elorde, wife of Da Flash.
The boxing awards are given annually by the family of the late Flash Elorde, the longest reigning world junior lightweight champion – from 1960 to 1967.
Elorde was the second Filipino, after Pancho Villa, to be enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Villa, the US flyweight champion from 1922 to 1925 and the first Filipino to be enshrined into the International Hall of Fame, will be posthumously enshrined into the Elorde Hall of Fame.
Villa, Elorde and Pacquiao are considered the country’s greatest boxers of their generation and the three greatest Filipino fighters of all time.
“It is only proper that the great fighter Pancho Villa occupies an honored place in Philippine boxing history through the Elorde Memorial Awards,” said the late champion’s wife.
Laura Elorde will herself present the Hall of Fame Award in honor of Villa as well as the World’s Best Pound for Pound Boxer Award to Pacquiao during the ceremonies which include the Banquet of Champions, an exclusive gathering of the country’s national, international and world champions, and other honorees in the field of boxing.
The Elorde Sports Foundation, which is holding the event in cooperation with the Elorde clan, said the Awards Night includes, for the first time, an amateur boxing award to be given to the most outstanding Filipino amateur boxing campaigner in 2008.
The regular awards categories include Boxer of the Year, Major Awards (World/International/national champions), best fight best boxing manager and citations.
The event will be capped with a women’s world boxing championship and a Philippine title fight.
The Elorde Awards is sponsored by the Johnny Elorde International Management, Elorde Foundation, Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp., Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Manila Hotel.