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 the prizefighter they call “El Intocable,” the chain-smoking defensive genius from Argentina who dazzled fans with his extraordinary reflexes, clever tactics, and ability to control the ring. And what better occasion than Nicolino Locche’s birthday to pay tribute to this gifted pugilist?
After an astonishing amateur career that saw him lose only five times in 122 bouts, Locche turned pro in 1958. He would go on to win Argentine and South American championships at lightweight before moving up to 140 pounds and annexing the world title. He boasts wins 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 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.
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: