Philippine Olympic Boxing Hero Needs Help

February 12, 2006

Do you remember Leopoldo Serrantes? If so, then good. He is the 1988 Seoul Olympic flyweight boxing bronze medallist who brought honor to the Philippines and ended the medal drought which struck the country for 24 years.

An enlisted man in the Army, he is now suffering of lung ailment and needs help. He needs a wheelchair and an oxygen tank, the Philippine Star reports. This should not be a big request from someone who used to fuel the resurgence in Philippine boxing in the Olympics. Let’s remember he was the one who started what Onyok Velasco ended. In 1988 Serrantes virtually won the bronze medal by beating his third opponent, someone from Morocco. He lost the semifinals game against a Bulgarian, thereby certifying the third place honors.

In 1992, the Philippines won another bronze medal courtesy of Roel Velasco, in Barcelona, Spain.

In 1996, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco claimed the Philippines’ second Olympic silver medal ever. The first one was won by Anthony Villanueva, in Tokyo Olympics in 1964, losing to a controversial fight against a Soviet Union fighter. That was the last medal won by the Philippines until Serrantes came into the ring.

So if the Filipino people had much love for Manny Pacquiao, let this love never fade whether he is a world champion or an aging, incapacitated boxer. Aside from Pacquiao, we have other heroes. They don’t want to be in the spotlight. They only need to be taken cared for in times when their bodies don’t cooperate much longer.

Do I hear anything from “Pacquiao Siamese twin” Lito Atienza, Chavit Singson or Miguel Arroyo who grabbed the limelight supposed to be Manny Pacquiao? Hopefully they will.

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