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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Rolando Toyogon
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FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Flyweight Champion, Rolando Toyogon. 

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Rolando Toyogon started off as a prospect, then turned into what many would call a trial-horse, before turning his career around to win the World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Flyweight title, and eventually going back to being a stepping-stone, a name on someones record.

With mediocre 12-11-2 statistics, Toyogon lost a clash of southpaws by unanimous decision to a sixteen year old whirl-wind kid called Emmanuel Dapridan Pacquiao (9-0) in December of 1995, in the main event at a packed Padre Peredes Basketball Court in Manila.

At the time, he could not have known that he in the ring with a future legend, and he had more or less settled into a role of being a tough and game gate-keeper for young prospects such as this particular fellow Filipino whom would later take the boxing world by storm known as Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao.

Less than three years earlier Toyogon made his professional debut as a twenty-two year old, winning on points over four rounds against and opponent called Junjun Dy (0-1). Seven months on he had put together a 6-1-1 (1) ledger, and his future in the ring looked as bright as he could have hoped for.

Born in December of 1971, like so many others he was raised in poverty in Gingoog City, and boxing quickly became his most likely way out of dire straits. He had hopes of winning titles, becoming a world champion, but he could not afford to turn down tough fights on the way up, trying to develop against lesser foes.

So when he was stopped in six rounds by the much more experienced Nathan Ballerda (27-15-10) in General Santos City exactly nine months into his pro career, it was the start of a very rough patch for Toyogon.

He lost his next three outings too, to Ricky Flor (8-5), Edmund Villamor (7-0-1) and Nick Caintoy (17-8-1), and at 6-5-1 it was hard to still consider him a prospect. He looked destined for obscurity, but someone forgot to tell this to Toyogon.

He went on a four-fight unbeaten streak, beating future IBF world title-challenger June Arlos (6-0-1), evening the score with Nick Caintoy (18-8-2), drawing against Alexis Janiola (12-7-1), and winning a tough fight on points over veteran Nurton Panhay (23-14-3).

Toyogon was now back in the picture for bigger fights, but unfortunately he threw his momentum away again when he lost consecutive bouts to underdog Ernie Buenafe (3-5) and Thailand´s Wanwin Charoen (10-3). It was very much up-and-down in his career, but he was always game and willing to fight anyone.

Closing out 1994 he beat American Orlando Malone (9-6) in Canada, and 1995 got off to a good start with a fifth round stoppage of local up-and-comer Ekapob Pincharoen (2-0) in Thailand.

But that spell of good form was followed by three straight defeats, also in Thailand, before a victory on home soil in Cebu City and one more defeat, in South Korea, brings us back to the aforementioned clash with Manny Pacquiao.

Following the loss to “Pac Man”, Toyogon was 12-12-2 (2), and it very much looked as if his faith was sealed: Take any fight that was offered, and hope to win once in a while to keep relevant enough for more pay-days.

Three weeks after Pacquiao he was back in Thailand, where he again showed his true level by only dropping a split decision to future WBF World Strawweight Champion Mongkhol Charoen (14-1), but in January of 1996 he was less competitive when losing a rematch with former victim Jun Arlos (12-4-1).

Having lost seven of his last eight fights, and his win-loss statistics at a less-than-mediocre 12-14-2 (2), Toyogon was due an easy nights work, which he got with a seventh round knockout of Dario Olarte (4-14-3) the following March.

That expected victory turned out to be the beginning of the best period in his career. Next he was brought to Johannesburg, South Africa to fight WBC International Champion Morgan Ndumo (10-1-1) in a non-title fight, and upset the apple-cart by winning a close, but deserved, decision.

Thailand had become almost like a second home to Toyogon, so it was no big surprise that he was invited back to fight On Doowiset (15-2) for the IBF Intercontinental Strawweight title three months after the triumph in South Africa.

While he lost the fight on points, it was another good performance and it only boosted his reputation. Two victories later, including one in which he picked up the vacant WBF Intercontinental Strawweight crown against Sanya Pangthaisong in Manila, he was given an opportunity he could not refuse.

Thailand´s WBU World Strawweight Champion Surachai Saengmorokat (20-3) needed a credible, but beatable, opponent for his first title-defense, and Toyogon go the call. But again the hard-nosed Filipino had not read the script!

After twelve rounds of action on April 18, 1997 in Udon Thani, the three judges rightfully awarded Toyogon the victory by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-114, making him a highly unlikely but deserved WBU world champion.

Not one to sleep on his laurels, Toyogon stayed busy with a rare stoppage in seven rounds of Edwin Talita (20-19-2) on June 13 in the main event of a show at Nazareth Hall in Cagayan de Oro City, bringing his record to 18-15-2 (5).

After years of being a road-warrior, Toyogon was rewarded with a big fight in the Philippines, a chance to become a two-weight world champion on January 24, 1998 back in Cagayan de Oro City, when he moved up to Light Flyweight to fight for the vacant WBF World title.

The tables had been turned, and this time a Thai fighter, Aswin Sithlakmuang (22-9), traveled to his turf, with a passionate crowd at the Pelaez Sports Center cheering on Toyogon. Sithlakmuang had won nine straight bouts going in, the last seven by knockout, so it was not an easy task for the local man.

But Toyogon put on one of his careers best performances, out-boxed and out-hustled Sithlakmuang in most of the rounds, and was consequently crowned the new World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Flyweight Champion in fine fashion.

Adding two world championships to his resume inside seven months had not been easy, and Toyogon took a deserved break before returning to training-camp in the summer of 1998. His first WBF world title-defense had been scheduled to take place in Thailand on November 20.

In the opposite corner was PABA Champion Linglom Por Tawatchai (4-1), a young and strong fighter who had surprisingly lost his pro debut but bounced back with four straight impressive victories against strong opposition to line up his crack at Toyogon.

Entering the fight with victories in his last five fights, Toyogon was confident that he could fend off the challenge of the Thai hot-shot, even in his back-yard, but at the end of twelve rounds Por Tawatchai was crowned the winner by split decision.

His time as a champion over, Toyogon soon slipped back into the journeyman-role he had carried so well earlier in his career. He took on all comers, many of the genuine world class, gave everyone a hard nights work, but he only managed to win three of his final nineteen fights.

In 2006, after losing his last eight bouts, Toyogon called it a career and retired with a final record of 22-31-3 (5), a very unusual tally for a former two-weight World Champion. However, at his best Toyogon could beat most, and between 1996 and 1998 he was one of the best in the world.

  Part 54: Joaquin Velasquez
  Part 53: Steve Molitor
  Part 52: Nadya Hokmi
  Part 51: Bert Cooper
  Part 50: Alfred Kotey
  Part 49: Yosuke Nishijima
  Part 48: Wayne Rigby
  Part 47: Jesus Chong
  Part 46: Renata Szebeledi
  Part 45: Lester Ellis
  Part 44: Patrick Vungbo
  Part 43: Patrick Washington
  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

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