Former Nigerian boxer David Defiagbon, who won gold for Nigeria at the Auckland 1990 Olympics, has died at the age of 48.
According to Chronicle Herald of Canada, Defiagbon died of heart complications in Las Vegas, the United States on Saturday.
Defiagbon, who also featured for Nigeria at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, emigrated to Canada and won a silver medal in the heavyweight category of boxing for Canada at the Atlanta ’96 Olympics.
According to the newspaper, the boxing community in Canada was still mourning the boxer’s death.
“It’s a shock,” said Lower Sackville’s Wayne Gordon, who along with his late father Taylor, were instrumental in bringing Defiagbon to Canada.
Shortly after Auckland 1990 Commonwealth Games, Defiagbon reportedly met Taylor Gordon, then the former national team coach of Canada and the wheels were in motion to get him to emigrate to Canada. But it wasn’t a smooth transition.
Nicknamed ‘The Dream,’ Defiagbon won his first 21 pro bouts. In his 21st victory, the then-six–foot–five, 226–pound Defiagbon defeated Ron Guerrero in fifth-round knockout on June 12, 2004 in Bermuda.
He claimed the WBA Fedecentro title with the win and moved into the WBA’s top–10. That would be the pinnacle of his pro career.
He lost his next two bouts, including a TKO loss to Juan Carlos Gomez on Jan. 15, 2005.
To his credit, the Nigerian-born Defiagbon fought valiantly in the semi-final to defeat American Nate Jones to qualify for the gold medal match, where he lost to Cuban legend Felix Savon.
Defiagbon went on to enjoy a solid pro career (21-2 12KOs) and remains the last Canadian to win an Olympic boxing medal.