By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Philippine boxing Hall of Famer Leopoldo Serantes passed away Wednesday morning due to complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD) disease. He was 59.
Serantes was best known for winning a bronze medal in the light flyweight division of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, which marked the first time in 24 years that an athlete won an Olympic medal since Anthony Villanueva in the 1964 Tokyo Games.
A native of Candoni in Negros Occidental, Serantes joined the Philippine boxing team in the 80s. He won gold medals in the 1985 Bangkok and 1987 Jakarta Southeast Asian Games.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez condoled with the Serantes’ family.
“He was a special person to me and I’m sad about his death. Pol, my friend, Rest in peace. Our prayers for his soul,” said Ramirez, adding that he has been in touch with Serantes and his family to monitor his needs.
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) also expressed its condolences to Serantes’ family, who is survived by his six children. Serantes’ wife died in 2019.
“The country will always remember Serantes for the honor and joy he brought to the country as an Olympic medalist. We are saddened by his passing,” said ABAP President Ricky Vargas.
Serantes’ death came two weeks after he was given P100,000 monthly allowance by Chooks-to-Go big boss Ronald Mascarinas.
According to Serantes’ daughter her father had been suffering from COPD for months.