By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photo: Dave Cameron
Former 1967 commonwealth lightweight champion Manny Santos has passed away in New Zealand at the age of 72 years. Manny was born in Tonga but moved to New Zealand where he boxed in amateur and professional ranks. He turned professional in 1965 and in 1967 defeated world rated Bunny Grant to capture the Commonwealth lightweight title by 15 round split decision. In 1971 he outscored highly regarded Australian based Scotsman John O’Brien. In 1972, Manny held world rated Héctor Thompson to a 15 round draw. In 1974, former Australian champion Matt Ropis was stopped in eight rounds. In Santos’ final ring appearance he lost a Commonwealth title challenge over 15 rounds to Percy Hayles in Kingston Jamaica. Santos scored 32 wins, lost 9 with 3 draws and 14 KOs.