Sabah boxing legend Bernard Delos Santos, who represented Malaysia in the Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand in 1966, has died at the age of 74.
Bernard passed away on Sunday at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, in the presence of his wife, siblings and children.
Sabah Boxing Association president Orlando Harumal paid tribute to the late boxer and stressed that the association and Sabah boxing would miss Bernard.
He noted Bernard’s contributions to the sport of boxing in the Sabah.
Bernard was the national boxing champion, state champion and Borneo champion between 1967 and 1980s.
“He’s a good boxer, good footwork and style,” said Orlando, while conveying his condolences to the late boxer’s family.
Bernard had also served as secretary to the Kota Kinabalu Boxing Association previously.
His early training took place at the Sabah Turf Club in Tanjung Aru, along with other boxing mates like Teddy Usbah, his brother John Delos Santos and Orlando.
His boxing career started when he emerged as the winner in his division in the first Sabah Open Amateur Boxing in 1964 and later attended the Singapore Open.
He had won a spot in the Malaysian boxing contingent for the Asian Games 1966 after winning in a selection tournament held in Kuala Lumpur where he was competing in the light flyweight division.
Although he did not win gold, Bernard however knocked out his opponent, a boxer from Hong Kong, in 24 seconds in the first round.
“Doctors advised him not to continue to the next match due to a swollen gum. He was about to face a Thailand fighter,” said his brother, Christie.
Thailand’s Prapan Duangchaoom went on to bag the gold medal.
An unorthodox boxer, Bernard developed the southpaw technique to gain the upper-hand against right-handed opponents and credited this to his brother John.
Bernard leaves behind his wife Hendrica Mosidin and three daughters, Jacintha, Judith and Jennifer. – Daily Express