"FLASH" ELORDE IS DEAD AT 49 - HELD BOXING TITLE IN THE '60S By: The New York Times
Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, a Filipino who rose from poverty to become World Junior Lightweight Boxing Champion in the 1960s, died in a suburban hospital early today, January 02, 1985. He was 49 years old and had suffered from lung cancer for seven (7) months. The youngest in a family of fifteen (15) children, Mr. Elorde as a youth earned a living at menial jobs before turning to Boxing in 1950 at 15. In the 20-year career that followed, he had 116 bouts and won 87, including 24 by knockout.
He captured the world title in 1960 by knocking out Harold Gomes of the United States, and held it for seven (7) years, until beaten by Yoshiaki Numata of Japan on a 15-round decision. Mr. Elorde was frequently described by Filipino sportswriters as the "Nation's Greatest Athlete." He also had a reputation as a philanthropist.
With his earnings as a fighter, he built a school, an orphanage, and a Roman Catholic church in a Manila suburb, where he also created a sports complex to train young boxers. President Ferdinand E. Marcos, in a message of condolence, cited the former champion's "Exemplary Discipline" both as a fighter and in his philanthropic work. Surviving are his wife, Laura, and seven (7) children.