Placido D. Valenciano (1917-2012) of Makaweli, fought in the ring on Kaua‘i, Honolulu and the Big Island as an amateur from the ages of 16 to 22 during Kaua‘i’s “Golden Age” of boxing in the 1920s and 1930s, was crowned the Kaua‘i Junior Featherweight Boxing Champion in 1939, and compiled a career record of 31 wins, 15 by knockout, and eight losses.
In 1975 he shared his boxing recollections with his son, Placido Valenciano Jr.
“In boxing, you are on your own, man to man. It’s up to you to defend yourself and to win over the opponent.
“We had inter-island tournaments and I went to Honolulu four times and Hawai‘i one time.
“We used to travel by boat. One time we went to box at Waialua Plantation. I fought this Filipino boy. He was the featherweight champion of his league, but I won a close decision. He was a slugger and won 12 fights. But instead of slugging, he tried to out-box me. I won because I was more experienced and faster than him.
“In my third or fourth fight, my opponent hit me, but plenty punches would miss. So what I did is get closer and throw punches all over him. Then the referee tell me go into the corner because he sitting on the floor. I don’t know where I hit him. They count him to number six and when he stand up, I run and throw one upper cut and miss but he fell down anyway and stayed down.
“Amateur is different from pro. We fought three rounds, two minutes a round. When you come to championship it was three round, three minutes a round. Amateur you have to speed up from start to finish. In the pros you pace yourself.
“When we went to Honolulu I sparred with two Filipino pros and they had hard time with me, but I never like turn pro.
“After I won the Junior Featherweight Championship I quit boxing.”
Placido D. Valenciano and his wife, Maria Bolosan Valenciano, had seven children.
Source: The Garden Island