Nicolino Locche: Portrait Of A Genius

As all admirers of Lee Wylie are no doubt aware, he is an aficionado of the finer points of boxing technique, the often overlooked subtleties and arcane methods of advanced ringcraft. Thus it should surprise no one that he is an enthusiast of Nicolino Locche, the boxer they called “El Intocable,” a chain-smoking defensive genius from Argentina who dazzled fans with his extraordinary reflexes, clever tactics, and ability to control the ring. A couple days back marked the anniversary of Locche’s birth, so what better time to again pay tribute to the skills of this most gifted pugilist?

After an astonishing amateur career that saw Locche lose only five times in 122 bouts, he turned pro in 1958. He went on to win Argentine and South American championships at lightweight before moving up to 140 pounds and annexing the world title. He boasts victories over such elite fighters as Joe Brown, Eddie Perkins, Carlos Hernandez, and Antonio Cervantes, and he drew with both Ismael Laguna and the great Carlos Ortiz, in an amazing career that spans eighteen years and 117 victories.

But here, in another of his excellent videos, Wylie focuses specifically on Locche’s awesome championship-winning performance against Takeshi Fuji in December of 1968. At the time the Argentine was the underdog, but to everyone’s surprise the match wasn’t even close. Showing remarkable skill and audacity, “El Intocable” controlled the ring, dominated the champion, and seized the super lightweight world title when the overwhelmed Fuji surrendered on his stool after round nine.

Locche schools Fuji.

With the insight and artistry he is renowned for, Wylie shows precisely how Locche achieved this victory and illuminates the specific tactics deployed in “one of the finest displays of pure boxing ever caught on film.” These are the skills that make “El Intocable” a boxing “genius,” a brilliant defensive maestro whose ring proficiency is perhaps second only to that of Willie Pep. Check it out:

5 thoughts on “Nicolino Locche: Portrait Of A Genius

  • July 14, 2019 at 9:09 pm
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    One of the all-time defensive greats. You don’t need a big punch to win fights.

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  • September 3, 2020 at 10:00 am
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    This is not to detract from Locche’s performance, but it is striking that Fuji did not adapt and alter his attack. For instance, by going to the body or throwing straight punches to the head, instead of the haymakers which Locche consistently rolled away from.

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  • July 17, 2021 at 5:26 am
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    Oh so this is where Floyd got his style from. When you come from a boxing family like the Mayweathers, you had to have seen footage of Locche. Most fighters don’t train defensively, they train offensively. They train to attack and not to counter attack.

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