Many tall and huge boxers from the United States were knockout by Fransisco Guilledo who is only 5 feet and 1 inch tall. He was better known in the boxing world as “Pancho Villa”.
Guilledo was born in Ilog, Negros Occidental on August 1901. It was said that he was just a baby when his parents separated. When he was on his teens, Guilledo went to the province of Iloilo to which he works until he met a boxer friend who invited him to come to Manila.
In 1919, Guilledo met his first opponent in the boxing ring against Alberto
In 1922, however, Guilledo temporarily left his boxing career when he married. But eventually he was back in action on the same year and made a boxing fight against a US boxer named Ade Goldtein in New Jersey City in June 1922. At this point, Goldtein was Guilledo’s first victim outside the Philippines. After this fight, Guilledo’s name was changed to “Pancho Villa” which is the same name of a famous Mexican revolutionary leader.
On September 1922, Pancho Villa grabbed the American flyweight title belt from Jonny Buff thru an 11tth round knockout. But he later lost in his first title defense in the next year to Frankie Genaro in a controversial decision.
But despite the first defeat to Genaro, Guilledo was still given another chance to fight in a world title championship bout to Jimmy Wilde who he knockout on the 7th round in June of 1923.
Because of Guilledo’s impressive boxing record and prowess, he became a boxing sensation among the boxing fanatics in the US and was made as the first Filipino who won a world championship bout in America. Guilledo successfully defended his belt until his early death in June of 1925.
Guilledo went back to the US in June of 1925 for a non-title bout with an opponent named Jimmy McLarnin from Oakland. But one day before the fight, Guilledo was observed to have an inflammation in his face due to a toothache.
According to reports, Guilledo went to the dentist to remove his swollen tooth before his actual fight with McLarnin. Because he was protecting one of his hand to the area were the tooth was extracted, Guilledo lost the fight by points. This was his last boxing fight.
Further records revealed that Guilledo again have a tooth extractions and was discovered that he has a tooth infection. He was advised to take a rest but the champion did not do. After several weeks, Guilledo was rushed to the hospital to which he died because the infection already affected his throat.
In August 1925, Guilledo’s remains were brought back to the Philippines and were buried in Manila North Cemetery. In his almost 6 years of boxing career, Guilledo gained 109 professional boxing fights to which one one had knock him out. In his 109 fights, 91 win, 25 of which in knockout, 8 lose and 4 draw.
Moral of the Story: We can see that even a simple tooth infection becomes a life-threathing situation if not given a proper medical attention.
Author’s note: Another compiling story about my motherland and its citizens.