Re: T.Stevenson and Felix Savon. the two Cuban super heavyweights. Your thoughts?
It's hard to tell how far they would go if they'd turned pro. They spent so long in the amateurs without stepping up in competition that they became pro level fighters fighting real inexperienced amateurs, and that's no way to measure ability. Sure they beat some future champs and top contenders, but amateur boxing is more points scoring with bigger gloves and head gear. You aren't going to find out if a fighter has stamina problems if they only ever fight four rounds.
Savon was beaten by Ruslan Chagaev and Odlanier Solis both later champions. He also beat Sultan Ibragimov, Shannon Briggs, and Lamon Brewster who all held titles later themselves. Chances are he'd pick up a title and hold it for a minute like they did then settle down into a top 10 contender.
Teofilo Stevenson has victories over Tyrell Biggs, who beat Lennox Lewis as an amateur and held Olympic and World Amateur gold medals. When they turned pro Lewis leveled Biggs. So did Tyson, Rid**** Bowe, and a couple of other guys. Amateurs frequently beat opponents which they couldn't beat as professionals.
I think Stevenson adds to the heavyweight greatness of the seventies and early eighties, but he's not getting past Ali, Foreman, Holmes, Frazier, Norton, Patterson, or Quarry unscathed. He'd definitely at least be in the mix with Shavers, Lyle, Bonavena, and Chuvalo though.
The only way to know how good a professional amateur is would be to see how he does against others of his kind. Match them against the other communist countries amateurs who had the kind of endless amateur careers that they had. Teofilo Stevenson the Cuban heavyweight champion lost twice to Igor Vysotsky the USSR heavyweight champion, once on points and once by knockout. Vysotsky himself had a victory over future champion Tony Tubbs, so both would probably be contenders if not champions had they decided to turn pro.