Elorde Hall of Fame honorees Manny Pacquiao and Donnie Nietes will be honored with an Award of Distinction while three boxers will share the highest honors as Boxers of the Year during the 17th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Boxing Memorial Awards and Banquet of Champions on March 25 at The Tent of the Manila Hotel.
Pacquiao, the current WBO World welterweight champion, and Nietes, the WBO world lightweight champion, will be honored for their continuing feat as world champions even after they have already been enshrined into the Elorde Hall of Fame.
Pacquiao was inducted into the Elorde Hall of Fame in 2012 after he won seven straight world crowns, which he accumulated in a 10-year campaign starting 2000. At the end of that period, he received the honor as boxer of the decade from the four major boxing organizations – the WBO, IBF, WBC and IBO – as well as the Boxing Writers of America and Yahoo, ESPN, and The Ring Magazine.
Nietes became world champion in three divisions – the minimum weight, light flyweight and superflyweight – retaining all these titles against the very best in each division for seven years starting in 2007 and was inducted into the Elorde Hall of Fame in 2015.
The Award of Distinction, one of the major awards of the Elorde Awards Night, is conferred to a Filipino boxer who have already been enshrined to the Elorde Hall of Fame and became world champion for seven consecutive years, matching the feat of Da Flash who was, in addition, enshrined separately into the International and World Boxing Hall of Fame as the undefeated world junior lightweight champion for seven consecutive years, from 1960 to 67.
The main awards of the Elorde rites and Banquet of Champions, also held to celebrate the 82nd birth anniversary of Elorde, is the conferment of the Boxer of the Year awards to the world champions of 2016 – IBF world flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero, IBF World superflyweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas and WBO world bantamweight king Marlon Tapales.
The other major highlight of the Elorde Awards is the casting of the fists, a ceremonial casting of the fists of current and former Filipino world champions still alive. They will form part of a rich, extensive collection of memorabilia of Filipino greats.
The boxers, led by Pacquiao, whose fists will be cast into immorality this year are former WBO bantamweight titlist Gerry Penalosa, former WBC lightweight champion Rolando Pascua, former IBF world super flyweight titleholder Tacy Macalos and former IBF world flyweight king Dodie Boy Penalosa.
Eleven Philippine champions of Class of 2016 as well as regional and international champions from the major boxing organizations in 11 divisions of the same year will also be honored in the Awards Night where special citations will be given to the best promoter (Jim Claude Manangquil), best referee (Danrex Tapdasan), best trainer (Jhun Agrabio), most promising boxer (Aston Palicte) and and best fight of the year (Kenny Demecillo and Rambo Lagos).