Many Filipinos of today became a fan of boxing because of the unprecedented rise of Manny Pacquiao. A champion in eight different weight divisions, Pacman has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest boxers the world has ever seen. His aggressive fighting style inside the ring and humility outside of it are the main reasons why majority of boxing fans not only in the Philippines, but also all over the world admire him. His recent loss to the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. does not change the fact that once he decides to call it quits, he will sit in the upper echelon of the list of the greatest boxers of all time.
However, he is not the first Filipino boxer to make a name in the national and international scene. In fact, Philippines is one of the countries that has constantly produced legendary boxers in the past. Philippines can proudly brag about its rich boxing history, which saw its Filipino fighters become world class athletes and world boxing champions.
That being said, we bring you the ten greatest Filipino boxers of all time. However, we limit the names on this list to the boxers who are already retired, which means Manny Pacquiao is not included since he is still an active boxer.
Rene Barrientos (39-7-2, 1962-1978)
Barrientos was a great boxer who had a decent 39 win record in his career. However, his seven losses came from big opportunities like title bouts and title defenses. From his unanimous decision defeat to fellow Filipino Flash Elorde in his early days to his unfortunate draw decision in his first shot at the World Boxing Championship title against Hiroshi Kobayashi of Japan, the Pinoy southpaw can’t seem to deliver when it fights matter the most. When Kobayashi was stripped of the title, he was able to take advantage of the opportunity by defeating Californian boxer Ruben Navarro, but his victory was short lived. Barrientos lost the title in his first and only title defense in his career, against another Japanese boxer Yoshiaki Numata. He was a southpaw who had a promising start, but was often unmatched against the elite puglists of his time.