History of Boxing’s Olympic Gold Medal Winners!
By Ken Hissner (June 23, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Even though the USA has not had a gold medal winner in boxing since 2004 it still has 48 gold medals to their nearest rival Cuba who have 32 in gold medals. Russia and Great Britain have 14 each while South Africa has 12 to round out the top five medal winners.

The Cuban’s have equaled the US in the heavyweight division with seven gold medals. Teofilo Stevenson was a three time Gold medal winner starting in 1972 defeating the USA’s Duane Bobick whom he had lost to in the 1971 Pan American Games. Stevenson was offered a match with Muhammad Ali when “the greatest” held the world title. Ali, then Cassius Clay was a Gold medal winner some 50 years ago at the Rome Games in the light heavyweight division. It seems he lost in the Olympic trials to Marine Percy Price in the heavyweight division and was allowed to compete at the lower weight. The same thing happened to Eddie Crook that year as he was defeated by Wilbur “Skeeter” McClure in the 156 division and moved up to 165. Both Crook and McClure joined Clay/Ali in winning Gold medals in 1960 for team USA.

The Cuban’s had a dry spell in the heavyweight division after Stevenson won 1972, 1976 and 1980 until 1992 when Felix Savon started his quest to become a three time Gold medal winner following in 1996 and 2000. In 2004 Odlanier Solis Fonte won Gold for Cuba. He is now an unbeaten professional fighting out of Germany. Savon’s teammate middleweight Ariel Hernandez also won Gold in the same 1992, 1996 and 2000 Games.

Before Stevenson became a three time winner the first to achieve this feat was Hungary’s Laszlo Papp in 1948, 1952 and 1956. His first Gold medal was as a middleweight before dropping down to light middleweight. Papp would turn professional in1957 becoming the first boxer from a Communist country to be able to do this. His overall record was 27-0-2 (15) and was allowed to fight in seven different countries as long as he did not leave Europe where he became their champion in 1962.
In 1965 Philadelphia’s Joey Giardello held the WBC/WBA middleweight title he won from Dick Tiger in 1963. His promoter Lou Lucchessi from upstate eastern Pennsylvania had a couple of FBI agents knocking on his door. He told this writer they wanted to know why he was trying to contact Papp. He told them he wanted to bring Papp to the US to fight Giardello. They informed him Papp would not be leaving Europe. Papp decided to retire at that time. There were rumors the Russians wanted him to coach their Olympic team in 1964 and he refused and made his sixth and final European defense in December of 1964. He would never fight again.

There were a total of seven dual Gold medal winners. The first was Harry Mallin from Great Britain who won in the middleweight division in 1920 and 1924. He would be the only dual champion from a non Communist country. In the 1964 and 1968 Olympics two boxers would win Gold. One was Boris Lagutin of the Soviet Union in the light middleweight division. The other was Jerzy Kulej of Poland in the light welterweight division.

Hector Vinent of Cuba winning in 1992 and 1996. Oleg Saitov of then Russia won Gold in 1996 and 2000 in the welterweight division. In 2000 and 2004 Cuba produced two winners in Mario Cesar Kindelan Mesa in the lightweight division and Guillermo Rigondeaux in the bantamweight division. The latter came to Miami turning professional in May of 2009. He currently has a 5-0 (4) record in the super bantamweight division. Kindelan Mesa had defeated Amir Khan of Great Britain twice including in the Olympic finals in 2004. In 2005 he traveled to England for a third match with Khan prior to the latter turning professional and lost. Khan won the WBA light welterweight title in July of 2007.

The following are Gold medal winners who went on to become professional world champions:


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