Leopoldo Cantancio (July 6, 1963 – April 20, 2018) was a Filipino boxer who competed for his native country at the 1984 Summer Olympics and 1988 Summer Olympics. He won a silver medal at the 1986 Asian Games and a bronze medal at the 1990 Asian Games. and was a two-time gold medalist in the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships.
|Born||July 6, 1963|
Bago, Negros Occidental
|Died||April 20, 2018 (aged 54)|
Bago, Negros Occidental, Philippines
|Weight||Bantamweight, Featherweight, Lightweight|
Cantancio was just 18 years old when he won a bronze medal in the bantamweight division at the 1981 Southeast Asian Games held in Manila. The Bago native took part at the 1982 AIBA World Amateur Championships and was eliminated in the Round of 16. He also participated at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi as a featherweight and was knocked out by North Korean Jo Rion-sik in the quarterfinals.
Cantancio finally tasted success at the 1983 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore when he won the gold medal in the featherweight division. Later that year, he claimed the gold medal in his weight class at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Naha after defeating South Korean Lee Choon-kil in the final.
Cantancio, along with Nelson Jamili and Efren Tabanas, represented the Philippines at the 1984 Summer Olympics. In his first bout at the Memorial Sports Arena, Cantancio posted a unanimous decision win over Malawi’s Solomon Kondowe. He next beat Pakistan’s Asif Dar to reach the last 16 of the lightweight division. In his next bout, Cantancio absorbed a 2-3 loss to Nigeria’s Christopher Ossai but the jury reversed the verdict and handed the Filipino a 5-0 win and a quarterfinal date with South Korean Chun Chil-sung.
Against Chun, Cantancio dictated the tempo of the fight before being knocked down by a left hook on the jaw and was counted out halfway through the third and final round. It was a devastating result as a win would’ve guaranteed the Filipino a bronze medal.
Cantancio resumed his career after his heartbreaking Olympic stint in L.A. and won a gold medal in the lightweight division at the 1985 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Bangkok where he was also named Best Boxer of the tournament.
Cantancio again represented the country at the 1988 Summer Olympics but could not duplicate his quarterfinal finish in Los Angeles. Drawn against Kostya Tszyu in his opening bout, Cantancio lasted just a round against the hard-hitting Soviet boxer who went on to win multiple world titles in the professional ranks.
Cantancio became a full-time police officer after hanging up his gloves and later became a local coach.
Cantancio studied at Arellano University.
On April 20, 2018, while on his way home after attending a boxing tournament in Bacolod, Cantancio lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into an electric post in Barangay Malingin, Bago. He was rushed to the Bago Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival due to severe head injuries. Cantancio had just filed his certificate of candidacy as kagawad at the time of the accident.
Despite possessing a glass jaw and failing to win a medal in either the Olympics or AIBA World Boxing Championships, Cantancio is considered[according to whom?] among the most decorated Filipino amateur boxers of all-time.
- Navarro, June (21 April 2018). "Filipino boxing Olympian Cantancio dies in motorcycle accident". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- Boxing Results
- Official Report of the Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad, Los Angeles, 1984, V.2 page 296. Retrieved 04 June 2020.
- Henson, Joaquin M. “RP’s rise and fall in Olympic boxing.” The Philippine Star. 26 August 2004. Retrieved 04 June 2020.
- “Leong Kok shines with silver.” The Straits Times. 28 September 1985. Retrieved 04 June 2020.
- “Marcos award for two stars.” The Straits Times. 05 October 1985. Retrieved 04 June 2020.
- Adiong, Eugene Y. “Former Negrense boxing Olympian dies in vehicular accident.” The Manila Times. 22 April 2018. Retrieved 03 June 2020.
- Ramos, Gerry (21 April 2018). "Former Olympic boxer Leopoldo Cantancio dies in motorcycle crash". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved 21 April 2018.