David Defiagbon, the last Canadian boxer to win an Olympic medal, dies at 48

David Defiagbon, the last Canadian boxer to win an Olympic medal, has died at age 48.

The Clark County Coroner Office in Las Vegas said Defiagbon died on Saturday. The cause of death was not yet known.

A native of Sapele, Nigeria, Defiagbon represented Canada at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, winning silver in the heavyweight competition.

He won his silverware the hard way. In his quarterfinal bout against France’s Christophe Mendy, Defiagbon was floored with 1:59 remaining in the third round by a low blow and advanced via disqualification.

Mendy, ranked No. 2 in the world at the time, threw up his hands in disgust at the decision and refused to leave the ring immediately while Defiagbon hobbled out in discomfort.

Defiagbon went on to beat American Nate Jones in the semifinals before being decisively defeated 20-2 by Cuban great Felix Savon in the gold-medal fight.

“I lost to a better boxer,” Defiagbon said at the time. “I kept waiting for him to make a mistake. He didn’t.”

Defiagbon won a gold medal in the welterweight class representing Nigeria at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, beating Canadian Greg Johnson in the final.

Defiagbon immigrated to Canada after his Commonwealth Games gold and fought out of Halifax.

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