Boxing: JK Elorde shows fighter’s heart with KO win

JK Elorde had a black eye to show for his troubles, but had a valuable learning experience in his knockout victory over Juanito Paderes

MORE THAN A NAME. JK Elorde had a black eye to show for his trouble but came out on top by knockout. Photo by Ryan Songalia

PARANQUE CITY, Philippines – There were more than a few who questioned JK Elorde’s decision to withdraw from studies at San Beda College to pursue the sport that his grandfather put on the map in the Philippines.

Taking punches to the face is more physically taxing than cramming for a test as an International Studies student, but the 20-year-old from Paranaque City, Philippines was intent on proving that the fighting genetics from his grandfather – boxing legend Gabriel “Flash” Elorde – were alive and viable in himself.

After weathering a couple of damaging right crosses from Juanito Paderes, and coming back to knock his opponent out at 2:22 of the second round at the Elorde Sports Complex in Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines on Saturday night, there’s no denying that Elorde has a fighter’s heart.

STANDING EIGHT. Paderes takes the count following the second knockdown as Elorde waits to go back to work. Photo by Ryan Songalia

The featherweight Elorde (3-0, 3 knockouts), who turned pro last April after only 5 amateur fights, got his first introduction to taking heavy punches without headgear in the first ten seconds of the fight, absorbing a flush right hand to his chin.

Paderes, who was making his pro debut, did not have any time to savor his advantage, as a right hook from Elorde simultaneously knocked Paderes down for the first knockdown of the fight.

Paderes wasn’t finished though. Moments later the wild-swinging fighter landed a right hand that knocked Elorde’s head back that had many of his closest family and supporters in panic mode.

“It’s my first time to get with a big shot,” admitted Elorde, who sported a black eye on his left side afterwards. “This is my first experience to be in a fight like that so I just did what it takes to win.”

The wildness of Paderes had sucked Elorde out of his game plan and into a fight, but once he regained his composure, a textbook double jab-straight left cross dropped Paderes in the second round. Paderes got up once more but was put down moments later before the referee stopped the fight.

Elorde, whose government name is Jordan Konstantine, is scheduled to return to action at the Elorde Awards Night event on March 25 at a venue to be announced.

Elorde Legacy

JK isn’t the only Elorde with a valid boxing license these days. JK’s cousin Juan Manuel Elorde, more commonly known as Bai, has a professional record of 15-1-1 (7 KOs) but was held to a technical draw with Thai Chaiyong Sithsaithong (32-12-3) on Saturday when an accidental headbutt in the second round cause a cut on his head. 

Bai’s brother Juan Miguel Elorde – popularly known as Mig – is 14-1 (6 KOs) as a professional. Not all Elordes are into boxing, however. Mig and Bai’s brother Nico Elorde is a third-year point guard for the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles. –