Who Were the Best of the Flyweight Champs?

By Ken Hissner - 11/26/2023 - Comments

One of my all-time favorite Flyweight champions was Argentina’s 1948 Olympic Gold Medalist in London, Pascual Perez. Perez was 23-0 when, in a non-title fight in Argentina, he drew with world champion Yoshio Shirai, 44-6-3, of Japan.

In their next fight, Perez defeated Shirai in Japan in November of 1954 for the world title. In May of 1955, in their third meeting, Perez stopped Shirai in five rounds in Japan. In other defenses, he stopped Cuba’s Oscar Suarez, 45-4-3, in 11 rounds. Then he stopped Wales Dai Dower, 33-1, in the first round.

In January of 1959, Perez lost for the first time in Japan to Sadao Yaoita, 27-6-2, in a non-title fight. In their rematch in Japan, Perez’s thirteenth round knockout win.

In April of 1960, the 4’11” Perez lost his title to 5’6 ½, Pone Kingpetch, 19-3, in Thailand. In the rematch, he was stopped in L.A. His final record was 84-7-1 with 57 stoppages.

Another great flyweight was Fighting Harada of Japan, who, in October of 1962, knocked out Kingpetch, 25-3, in Japan in eleven rounds. He lost the rematch in Thailand by majority decision in Thailand.

Harada moved up to bantamweight in May of 1965 and won the world title by split decision in Japan, defeating Brazil’s Eder Jofre, 47-0-3.

In a rematch again, he defeated Jofre. He reversed an earlier loss to Mexico’s Jose Medel, 63-20-6, and two fights later, defeated Bernardo Caraballo, 43-1-2, of Colombia in Japan. He would lose his title to Australia’s Lionel Rose, 27-2, in Japan. His final record was 55-7 with 22 stoppages.

The final flyweight and possibly the greatest was Jimmy “The Mighty Atom” Wilde, of Wales, who won the first international flyweight title in April of 1916, stopping New York’s Johnny Rosner, 30-8-5, in eleven rounds in Liverpool, UK, improving his record to 110-1-1.

In July of 1919, Wilde defeated Tennessee’s Memphis Pal Moore, 89-17-18, in London, improving his record to 127-1-1.

In January of 1921, Wilde lost his title to Pete “Kid” Herman, 87-27-13, of New Orleans, by stoppage in London. He lost his next fight to Filipino Pancho Villa, 66-6-3, ending his career with a record of 131-3-1, with 98 stoppages.

There you have it: Perez, Harada, and Wilde, three of the best flyweights of all time!

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