Bloomberg News

Three-Time Olympic Boxing Champ Teofilo Stevenson Dies, AP Says

June 12, 2012

Teofilo Stevenson

Gold medal winner Teofilo Stevenson, center, silver medalist Pyotr Zaev of the Sovier Union, left, and bronze medalist Jurgen Fanghanel of East Germany, right, stand on the podium during the medal ceremony for heavyweight boxing at the Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980. Source: /AFP/Getty Images

Teofilo Stevenson, who won three consecutive Olympic heavyweight boxing gold medals for Cuba in 1972-80, died yesterday of a heart attack, the Associated Press reported. He was 60.

Stevenson is one of three boxers to win three Olympic titles, along with Laszlo Papp of Hungary and Felix Savon of Cuba.

A statement read on the news in Cuba last night said: “The Cuban sporting family was moved today by the passing of one of the greatest of all time.”

In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, Stevenson ended a run of two straight U.S. gold medals in the heavyweight class -- by Joe Frazier in 1964 and George Foreman in 1968 -- by defeating favored American Duane Bobick en route to his first gold medal.

Promoters pushed for a showdown with American professional heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Stevenson followed Cuban orders that he retain his amateur status, and the potentially lucrative fight never occurred.

Stevenson was forced to forego a shot at a potential fourth straight Olympic gold when Cuba boycotted the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. He retired in 1988 after Cuba also skipped that year’s Seoul Olympics.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Gloster at rgloster@bloomberg.net


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