Who’s Who in Bataan – Dommy Ganzon

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  • 7 years ago

DOMMY GANZON (1915-1987) was the first Abucay native to become a professional boxing champion. He won the Philippine and Oriental Boxing Federation’s welterweight crown in 1936.

Dominador Baluyot Ganzon was born in Omboy, Abucay on February 4, 1915. At an early age, he became an avid fan of Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, an American boxing legend and the longest-reigning world heavyweight champion in history. Dommy also dreamt of becoming a boxing champion after watching film clips of Joe Louis and other famous boxers at the first and only movie theater in Calaylayan before the war. But Dommy’s father, Abucay’s 13th mayor Gregorio Ganzon and mother Brigida Baluyot simply wanted him to finish a Commerce degree or continue being a good musician and member of the famous AbucayBand.

            While studying in Manila, Dommy followed his dreams and secretly trained in a gym to hone his skills in boxing. His parents and relatives were naturally shocked upon learning that he was already a professional boxer after a year of stay in Manila.

           Due to the clamor of his fans, he was pitted three times against Orion’s favorite boxer named “Clever” Ciano, the only known pugilist who fought on the ring barefooted. With one victory each after the first two matches, Dommy was knocked out by Ciano on their third fight held at the Balanga Elementary School ground.

            Dommy became a by-word in Abucay when he became a national, and later on, an Oriental boxing champion. He patented the so-called six consecutive jabs while defending against an opponent. He was the toast of the town everytime he came home after a successful title defense. It was said that during his two-year reign as champion, no other Filipino boxer wanted to test his mettle inside the ring.

Unable to find a worthy opponent in the country, Dommy Ganzon started campaigning abroad. He fought two Japanese boxers in Tokyo and won. Still unsatisfied with his accomplishment, he issued a challenge to Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong, an outstanding American world boxing champion. The latter accepted and a match was held in the United States of America. As expected, Armstrong knocked Ganzon out in the second round of the scheduled 15-round match.

Henry Armstrong, a black American boxer who defeated Domy Ganzon, had been included in the Guinness Book of World Records for being champion in three weights categories simultaneously: featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. Upon retirement, Armstrong became a religious pastor known as “Reverend Henry Jackson.”

Upon his return from America, Dommy told sports reporters that he was not really keen in beating the American boxer but was only after the pre-paid trip to the US and the $2,500 guaranteed cash prize.

            In one tragic fight in Manila, Dommy immediately complained of irritated eyes after the match. The irritation triggered a slow but an eventual total loss of his sight on both eyes. Rumors have it that his last opponent possibly laced his gloves with acid which caused Dommy’s blindness.

            After his forced retirement from boxing, Dommy continued making a living by playing violin and saxophone for people on the street. He also sold sweepstakes tickets in Abucay and neighboring towns using a trained dog and sometimes his own grandchildren as guide. He was even elected barrio lieutenant of Omboy. He also trained his two sons, Dommy Jr. and Greg, the finer points of boxing.. He passed away on March 28, 1987.

            Dommy was married to the former Mercedes Tablan Planas of Mabatang with whom he had four children: Nena, Dommy Jr., Amor and Carolina.

Dommy Ganzon’s brother, MauroGanzon (Abucay’s 15th and 18thmunicipal mayor and one-time provincial board member) also trained as a boxer but only fought locally. Dommy Ganzon Jr. was also a professional boxer but never became a champion. Greg Ganzon, Dommy’s youngest child, also made a name in boxing and won many bouts in “Fistorama,” a televised sports program.

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