Dominican Leonel de los Santos taking one more shot at Olympic glory
Fighter Locker’s 2-time Olympian boxer Leonel de los Santos, representing the Dominican Republic, will be fighting for his boxing future in Tokyo at the Olympic Summer Games.
Only two Dominican boxers have ever captured Olympic medals in boxing: gold in 2008 by Manuel Felix Diaz and Pedro Nolasco, who took bronze in 1984.
The 26-year-old Santos, who already turned pro and has a 3-0 record with three first-round knockouts, was eliminated in the field of 32 at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil by Yoel Finol (Argentina), the eventual Olympic silver medalist in the flyweight division.
Now, Santos has one more shot at becoming the third Dominican boxer to medal at the Olympics.
“My amateur career has taken me to different national and international stages, in which I’ve proudly represented my country, the Dominican Republic,” Santos announced.
Currently rated No. 3 in the World in the lightweight division, Santos was a silver medalist at the prestigious Pan-American Games in 2019, where he lost to Cuba’s 3-time Pan-Am gold medalist Lazaro Alvarez, the 3-time World amateur champion and 2-time Olympic bronze medalist.
Alvarez and Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (Uzbekistan) appear to be the lightweights to beat heading into the Olympics. Mirzakhalolov captured gold at the 2019 World Championships by defeating Alvarez in the championship final.
Santos is competing in a loaded lightweight division. In addition to Mizakhailov and Alvarez, two other leading contenders for an Olympic medal include Peter McGrail (Great Britain), the 2017 European champion who won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships, losing to Alvarez in the semifinals, and American Duke Ragan, the silver medalist at the 2017 World Championships and 2019 Pan American Games.
“It is a very special feeling having Leonel compete in Tokyo,” Fighter Locker president and Santos’ manager Ryan Roach said. “We’re talking about the best of the best, and he is favored to medal. He has been training very hard.
“He’s been waiting for this moment for the last year, since the Olympics were postponed last summer, and I I know he is very excited to represent his country again. Leonel is already known internationally but, if he can bring home a medal, it would bring a lot more attention to him because he’s competing in such a talented weight class. I’m excited to watch him compete in Tokyo. I couldn’t be prouder because he is such a great young man.”