Francisco Guilledo

Francisco Guilledo (August 1, 1901 – July 14, 1925), more commonly known as Pancho Villa, was a Filipino professional boxer. Villa, who stood only 5 feet and 1 inch (154 cm) tall and never weighed more than 114 pounds (51 kg), despite the racial discrimination of that time, rose from obscurity to become the first Asian to win the World Flyweight Championship in 1923, earning the reputation in some quarters as one of the greatest Flyweight boxers in history.[1][2] He was never knocked out in his entire boxing career, which ended with his sudden death at only twenty-three from complications following a tooth extraction.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa BNF.jpeg
Real nameFrancisco Villaruel Guilledo
Nickname(s)Pancho Villa
Filipino Whirlwind
Little Brown Boy
Height5 ft 1 in (154 cm)
Born(1901-08-01)August 1, 1901
Ilog, Negros Occidental, Philippine Islands
DiedJuly 14, 1925(1925-07-14) (aged 23)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights103 (17 NWS)
Wins89 (13 NWS)
Wins by KO22
Losses8 (4 NWS)
No contests2

Early life and Philippine boxing careerEdit

Guilledo was born in Ilog, Negros Occidental, the son of a cowhand who abandoned his family when Guilledo was just six months old. He grew up in the hacienda of a wealthy local, helping his mother raise goats she tended on the farm.

When Guilledo was 11, he sailed to Iloilo City to work as a bootblack. While in Iloilo, he befriended a local boxer and together they migrated to Manila, settling in Tondo. He would occasionally spar with friends and soon attracted the attention of local boxing habitués. He fought his first professional fight in 1919 against Alberto Castro. Within two years, he was the Philippine Flyweight Champion, having dethroned Terio Pandong. He nearly gave up boxing after being spurned by a woman he courted, actually returning to Negros early in 1922 to retire. The clamor of Filipino boxing fans compelled him to return to the ring.

It appears that during this period, Guilledo was under the tutelage of at least two important local boxing figures. One was the American boxing promoter based in Manila, Frank E. Churchill. Another was a Filipino ice plant executive and boxing manager named Paquito Villa. The renaming of Francisco Guilledo to Pancho Villa has been attributed to both men, depending on the source. One version tags Churchill as having renamed Guilledo into Villa, taking the name from the Mexican guerrilla leader.[3] Another version maintains that Paquito Villa had legally adopted Guilledo as early as 1918, renaming him Pancho.[4]

Not long before coming to America, he met future American World Junior Lightweight Champion Mike Ballerino nine times in Manila between January 1920, and October 1921 defeating him in six bouts. Ballerino would also be managed by Frank Churchill after coming to America.

World Flyweight ChampionEdit

Pancho Villa (left) vs. Jimmy Wilde (right)

In May, 1922, Villa received an invitation from famed boxing promoter Tex Rickard to fight in the United States. He accepted the invitation and sailed to America together with Churchill and Paquito Villa. Upon arrival he was set up with a very young but talented sparring partner in Enrique Chaffardet and immediately won his first overseas fight against Abe Goldstein in Jersey City on June 7, 1922. He then fought and defeated by Frankie Genaro on August 22, 1922. By this time, Villa had caught the attention of boxing aficionados and he was slated to fight against the American Flyweight Champion Johnny Buff on September 15, 1922.

Villa defeated Buff in an upset, knocking out the champion in the 11th round to win the American Flyweight Championship. At this point, Villa had been in the American phase of his career for only 4 months. Villa lost the title early the following year to Genaro, who defeated the Filipino on points in a widely criticized decision. The unpopularity of Villa's defeat on points proved fateful. Jimmy Wilde, the Welsh-born boxer and former World Flyweight Champion, had decided to end his recent retirement and seek the then vacant World Flyweight Championship in a fight to be staged in America. While Genaro, the American Champion, seemed as the logical choice to fight Wilde, Villa's growing popularity soon convinced promoters that the Filipino would prove as the better draw.

In what were described in that era as "pre-battle statements," the 31-year-old Wilde said: ~"I appreciate the fact that in Villa, I am going to meet one of the toughest little men in boxing. I appreciate the fact that I am going to be put to a real test, and that is what I have prepared for." In comments that summed up his fighting style, Villa said: ~"I am in condition and once in condition, my worries are over. I do not intend to give Wilde a minute's rest while we are in the ring."

Villa did not disappoint the ever pleasing crowd. On June 18, 1923, at the Polo Grounds in New York City, Villa was cheered on to victory over Wilde by over more than 20,000 of fans screaming "Viva Villa!" The win came by way of a knockout in the 7th round, caused by a crashing right to Wilde's jaw.[5] Villa was described as relentless, pummeling Wilde with both hands and causing the Welshman to also drop in the fourth and fifth rounds. Wilde never fought again.

His wife Gliceria (née Concepcion) who was left in Manila, asked by the media outfits for reaction had this to say: "You cannot imagine the happiness I felt upon receiving the first notices of the victory of my husband. I cried not because of pain but emotion. I was hoping for his triumph."

Former President General Emilio Aguinaldo, voicing the sentiment of the entire nation said: "Congratulations, Pancho, Come back to us and defend your title here."

A hero's welcome greeted Pancho when he disembarked from the "SS President Grant," the same luxury liner that brought him to the United States on April 2, 1922 to launch his campaign in the land of promise.

A reception at the Malacanan Palace hosted by then President Manuel Quezon followed a massive parade from the airport passing through Manila's major streets where thousands greeted the returning sports hero.[6]

The new World Flyweight Champion successfully defended his title several times and never relinquished it until his death just two years later. Villa returned to a hero's welcome in Manila in September 1924, feted with a parade and a reception at Malacañan Palace. He also returned to his old haunts in Iloilo and his hometown in Negros Occidental. Before returning to the United States, he fought one more bout in Manila, against Clever Sencio, on May 2, 1925. Villa prevailed. None of the thousands of fans who saw that fight at Wallace Field knew that they had just witnessed Villa's final victory and the second to the last fight of his life.


Villa returned to the United States to prepare for his next match, a non-title fight against Jimmy McLarnin scheduled for July 4, 1925, at Ewing Field in San Francisco. In the days leading to the fight, Villa's face became swollen due to an ulcerated tooth. According to contemporary newspaper accounts, on the morning of the fight, Villa went to a dentist to have the tooth extracted. Despite the pain and swelling, Villa insisted on going ahead with the fight with McLarnin. Villa ended up spending most of the fight using one hand to protect his afflicted face. Given these circumstances, Villa naturally lost, though he managed to stay the distance. It was to be Villa's last fight.

Two or three days after the McLarnin fight, he had three more teeth extracted after an infection was discovered. Against his dentist's prescription of bed rest, Villa spent the next few days carousing with friends. His condition worsened, and by July 13, 1925, he had to be rushed to the hospital. It was discovered that the infection had spread to his throat, resulting in Ludwig's angina. Villa was rushed into surgery, but he lapsed into a coma while on the table and died the following day, July 14, 1925. Tragically, his death occurred only 17 days before his 24th birthday.

His remains were returned to Manila, and in August 1925, he was buried at Manila North Cemetery.


His younger half-brother, Eulogio Villaruel Tingson also known as "Little Pancho", was a professional boxer who compiled a record of 103(19 KO)–18–26 with 1 No Contest.


Villa's 1923 victory made him the first Asian in history to have won an international boxing championship. In October 1961, Villa was added by Ring Magazine to its own boxing hall of fame. He was inducted belatedly into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994, the second Filipino boxer so honored after Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, who was born nearly a decade after Villa's death.

Villa was ranked the 59th best fighter by Ring Magazine in 2002 in a list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years.

He was voted as the #1 flyweight (along with Miguel Canto) of the 20th century by the Associated Press in 1999.[7]

Professional boxing recordEdit

89 Wins (22 knockouts, 67 decisions), 8 Losses (0 knockout, 8 decisions),4 Draws,2 No Decision
Newspaper Decision (13 Wins, 4 Losses, 0 Draws)Notes[8]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Loss 89-8-4-2   Jimmy McLarnin PTS 10 1925-07-04   Oaks Ballpark, Emeryville, California
Win 89-7-4-2   Clever Sencio UD 15 1925-05-02   Wallace Field, Metro Manila Retained The Ring and lineal flyweight titles
Win 88-7-4-2   Francisco Pilapil KO 8(15) 1925-03-09   Iloilo City, Iloilo
Win 87-7-4-2   Amos"kid"Carlin PTS 15 1924-08-18   Coliseum Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 86-7-4-2   Frankie Murray NWS 8 1924-07-28   Bacharach Ball Park, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 85-7-4-2   Willie Woods PTS 10 1924-07-21   Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 84-7-4-2   Henry Catena KO 5(12) 1924-07-02   Playgrounds Stadium, West New York, New Jersey
Win 83-7-4-2   Bud Taylor PTS 12 1924-06-10   Henderson's Bowl, Brooklyn, New York
Win 82-7-4-2   Frankie Ash UD 15 1924-05-30   Henderson's Bowl Brooklyn, New York Retained The Ring and lineal flyweight titles
Draw 81-7-4-2   Eddie McKenna PTS 10 1924-04-23   Milwaukee Auditorium, Public Hall Cleveland, Ohio
Win 81-7-3-2   Billy Bonillas NWS 4 1924-03-22  10th Street Arena, Modesto, California
Win 80-7-3-2   Georgie Lee NWS 4 1924-03-21  L-st Arena Sacramento, California
Loss 79-7-3-2   Bud Taylor NWS 12 1924-03-06   Auditorium Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Win 79-6-3-2   George Marks UD 15 1924-02-08   Madison Square Garden, New York
Win 78-6-3-2   Mike Moran UD 10 1924-01-21   Motor Square Garden, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win 77-6-3-2   Tony Norman PTS 10 1924-01-01   Motor Square Garden, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win 76-6-3-2   Pasty Wallace PTS 10 1923-12-10   Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 75-6-3-2   Donnie Mack KO 4(10) 1923-12-05   Coliseum Toronto, Ontario
Win 74-6-3-2   Joey Schwartz NWS 10 1923-11-19   Detroit Michigan
Win 73-6-3-2   Jabez White NWS 8 1923-10-22   Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 72-6-3-2   Benny Schwartz PTS 15 1923-10-12   5th Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland Retained The Ring and lineal flyweight titles
Win 71-6-3-2   Tony Thomas PTS 10 1923-09-24   Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 70-6-3-2   Bud Taylor NWS 10 1923-09-08   Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago, Illinois
Win 69-6-3-2   Jackie Feldman KO 3(10) 1923-08-22   Velodrome, New York New York City
Win 68-6-3-2   Kid Williams NWS 8 1923-07-31   Shetzline Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 67-6-3-2   Abe Friedman PTS 10 1925-07-20   Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 66-6-3-2   Jimmy Wilde KO 7(20) 1923-06-18   Polo Grounds, New York New York City Won lineal flyweight title
Won inaugural The Ring flyweight title
Loss 65-6-3-2   Bobby Wolgast NWS 8 1923-05-24   Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 65-5-3-2   Battling Al Murray NWS 10 1923-05-11   Dexter Park Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois
Win 64-5-3-2   Clarence Rosen NWS 10 1923-04-23   Detroit, Michigan
Win 63-5-3-2   Willie Darcy PTS 12 1923-03-24   State Armory, Waterbury, Connecticut
Win 62-5-3-2   Young Montreal NWS 8 1923-03-19   Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Loss 61-5-3-2   Frankie Genaro SD 15 1923-03-01   Madison Square Garden, New York Lost American Flyweight Title
Win 61-4-3-2   Henry "Kid" Wolfe KO 3(8) 1923-02-20   Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 60-4-3-2   Frankie Mason KO 5(10) 1923-02-13   Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts American Flyweight Title
Win 59-4-3-2   Battling Al Murray NWS 8 1923-01-01   Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 58-4-3-2   Terry Martin UD 15 1922-12-29   Madison Square Garden, New York American Flyweight Title
Win 57-4-3-2   Young Montreal UD 15 1922-11-27   Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 56-4-3-2   Abe Goldstein UD 15 1922-11-16   Madison Square Garden, New York American Flyweight Title
Win 55-4-3-2   Pasty Wallace NWS 8 1922-10-30   Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 54-4-3-2   Danny Edwards PTS 10 1922-10-23   Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 53-4-3-2   Johnny Buff TKO 11(12), 0:27 1922-09-14   Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York Won American Flyweight Title
Loss 52-4-3-2   Frankie Genaro PTS 10 1922-08-22   Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York
Win 52-3-3-2   Sammy Cohen PTS 8 1922-08-15   Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York
Win 51-3-3-2   Johnny Hepburn PTS 6 1922-08-02   Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York
Win 50-3-3-2   Terry Miller NWS 12 1922-07-27   Asbury Park, New Jersey
Win 49-3-3-2   Frankie Murray PTS 8 1922-07-19  Margolies A.C., Averne, Queens, New York
Loss 48-3-3-2   Frankie Genaro PTS 8 1922-07-06   Jersey City, New Jersey
Loss 48-2-3-2   Abe Goldstein NWS 12 1922-06-07   Oakland A.A., Jersey City, New Jersey
Win 48-1-3-2   Pete Sarmiento PTS 15 1922-04-01   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 47-1-3-2   Max Mason PTS 15 1922-03-19   Iloilo City, Iloilo
Win 46-1-3-2   Georgie Lee PTS 15 1922-02-12   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 45-1-3-2   Kid Abayan PTS 8 1922-01-12   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 44-1-3-2   Battling Ongay KO 1(?) 1921-12-29   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 43-1-3-2   Jimmy Taylor PTS 8 1921-12-15   Ground Opera House, Manila, Metro Manila
Win 42-1-3-2   George Mendies KO 3(10) 1921-12-08   Olympic Stadium, Manila, Metro Manila
Win 41-1-3-2   Kid Garcia PTS 8 1921-11-17   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 40-1-3-2   Kid Aguila PTS 8 1921-11-10   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 39-1-3-2   Kid Aguila PTS 8 1921-10-19   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 38-1-3-2   Mike Ballerino PTS 20 1921-08-23   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 37-1-3-2   Leoncio Bernabe PTS 20 1921-09-21   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 36-1-3-2   Syd Keenan PTS 8 1921-09-07   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 35-1-3-2   Cowboy Reyes PTS 8 1921-09-03   Manila, Metro Manila Orient bantamweight title
Win 34-1-3-2   Mike Ballerino PTS 20 1921-08-23   Manila, Metro Manila
Loss 33-1-3-2   Eddie Moore DQ 10 1921-08-09   Manila, Metro Manila
Draw 33-0-3-2   Mike Ballerino PTS 15 1921-07-25   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 33-0-2-2   Young Modejar PTS 6 1921-07-11   Manila, Metro Manila
Draw 32-0-2-2   Leoncio Bernabe PTS 6 1921-06-20   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 32-0-1-2   Pete Alberto PTS 6 1921-06-06   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 31-0-1-2   Knockout Lewis KO 4(?) 1921-05-22   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 30-0-1-2   Stiff Irineo KO 2(?) 1921-04-24   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 29-0-1-2   Kid Garcia PTS 8 1921-04-10   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 28-0-1-2   Valentin Santos KO 7(?) 1921-03-26   Olympic Stadium, Manila, Metro Manila
Win 27-0-1-2   Mike Ballerino PTS 10 1921-03-05   Olympic Stadium, Manila, Metro Manila
Win 26-0-1-2   Terio Pandong PTS 8 1921-02-21   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 25-0-1-2   Kid Moro KO 3(?) 1921-02-07   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 24-0-1-2   Sailor Johnny Candelaria KO 3(?) 1921-01-23   Manila, Metro Manila
Draw 23-0-1-2   Mike Ballerino PTS 15 1921-01-10   Manila, Metro Manila
Win 23-0-0-2   Stiff Irineo PTS 6 1920-07-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 22-0-0-2   Kid Cortez PTS 6 1920-06-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 21-0-0-2   Sailor Johnny Candelaria PTS 6 1920-05-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 20-0-0-2   Mike Ballerino PTS 6 1920-04-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
NC 19-0-0-2   Mike Ballerino ND 6 1920-03-25   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 19-0-0-1   Mike Ballerino PTS 6 1920-03-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
NC 18-0-0-1   Mike Ballerino ND 6 1920-02-25   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 18-0-0   Jose de la Cruz PTS 6 1920-02-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 17-0-0   Pedro Capitan KO 4 1920-01-01   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 16-0-0   Baguio Bearcat PTS 4 1919-11-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 15-0-0   Baguio Bearcat PTS 4 1919-10-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 14-0-0   Pedro Olongapo PTS 4 1919-09-10   Olympic Stadium, Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 13-0-0   Jose de la Cruz PTS 4 1919-08-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 12-0-0   Kid Elino PTS 4 1919-07-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 11-0-0   Young Duarte PTS 4 1919-06-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 10-0-0   Young Eduards PTS 4 1919-05-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 9-0-0   Jose Mendoza KO 2(?) 1919-05-01   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 8-0-0   Pete Alberto PTS 4 1919-04-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 7-0-0   Kid Moro KO 2(?) 1919-04-01   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 6-0-0   Kid Cortez KO 2(?) 1919-03-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 5-0-0   Jaime Desiderio KO 2(?) 1919-03-01   Olympic Stadium, Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 4-0-0   Terio Pandong PTS 4 1919-02-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 3-0-0   Ceasareo Siguion KO 2(?) 1919-02-01   Palomar Pavilion, Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 2-0-0   Kid Castro PTS 5 1919-01-10   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.
Win 1-0-0   Alberto Castro KO 3(?) 1919-01-01   Manila, Metro Manila Precise date unknown at this time.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ IBHOF / Pancho Villa at
  2. ^
  3. ^ IBHOF / Pancho Villa at
  4. ^ Filipinos in History, Volume II, National Historical Institute, pp. 169
  5. ^ "Francisco Guilledo – World Flyweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  6. ^
  7. ^ " BOXING – AP Fighters of the Century list". Retrieved 2014-05-04.
  8. ^ Pancho Villa's Professional Boxing Record. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

External linksEdit

Title last held by
Jimmy Wilde
World Flyweight Champion
June 18, 1923 – July 4, 1925
Title next held by
Fidel LaBarba
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Stanley Ketchel
Youngest Dying World Champion

July 14, 1925 – August 12, 1982
Succeeded by
Masao Ohba