GABRIEL “Flash” Elorde may no longer be around, but his family members are still here to witness his record about to be broken by Donnie Nietes.
Laura Elorde, wife of the late boxing legend, lauded Nietes for moving on the cusp of surpassing Elorde’s feat as longest-reigning Filipino world titlist.
“We are indeed proud that ‘Bai’ reigned as a world champion for seven years and three months and are prouder still that a good and decent Filipino champion rose to take his place among the heroes of our time,” the Elorde matriarch said in a statement read during a luncheon in honor of Nietes’ exploits on Wednesday.
“To us – the members of the Elorde family – Donnie’s surpassing of Bai’s long-standing record is a tribute to his skill, dedication and hard work.”
Elorde even went as far as comparing Nietes to her late husband, the pride of Bogo, Cebu, who ruled the junior lightweight class from 1960 to 1967.
“Donnie Nietes in many respects is like Elorde – a simple man from humble beginnings but a true champion who has, by his success, earned the admiration of our people,” Elorde said of Nietes, who rose from being an ALA boxing stable janitor to becoming the top draw of the well-known gym.
Nietes, the reigning World Boxing Organization light flyweight champion from Murcia, Negros Occidental, is set to break Elorde’s record on December 31.