Boxing has been a way of life for the Elorde clan, the country’s fistic First Family. Their gym along Sucat Road in Parañaque City is a mecca for prizefighters and boxing buffs here and abroad, built by arguably one of the greatest Filipino pro boxers of all time, Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.
And due to the recent exploits of current boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, the popularity of boxing in the country is at an all time high- and this has put the Elordes at the forefront of a growing market for recreational training.
In the beginning, besides hosting fights, promoting bouts and managing their stable of boxers, the family did not capitalize too much on their knowledge of, and influence over the sport—until Flash’s youngest daughter and her friends came up with a bright idea a few years back.
Banking on experience
Riding the wave of boxing gyms as fitness centers at the turn of the millennium, Maria Laurita “Cucuy” Elorde and her college classmates put up the first branch of the Elorde Boxing Gym near Gilmore Avenue in Quezon City.
“My friends and I thought of it one time when we were working out at Sucat,” says the 40-year-old mother of three, who refuses to put the “CEO” title on her calling card.
“It happened before nag-click ang boxing for fitness dito,” the mass communications graduate of Saint Scholastica’s College adds. “Before, our gyms served purely professionals [boxers], pero nu’ng nag-boom na ang boxing at sumikat si [Manny] Pacquiao, doon na kami lumago.”
Since opening the Gilmore branch in 2003, Cucuy has set up and managed its expansions on Katipunan Avenue, also in Quezon City; in SM Southmall and Starmall, both in Las Piñas; on Maceda Street in Manila; along EDSA in Mandaluyong City; and at the Makati Sports Club in Makati City.
That’s besides keeping shop at the main Sucat branch, which the Elordes first built in 1974—nearly two decades before the family decided to expand their business interests, in part to answer the growing demand for fitness-through-boxing venues over the last decade.