Re: I am a boxing manager: if you have questions about the boxing biz, ask!
A year on from a very good Olympics for the UK which will no doubt yield a group of fighters that will have good competitive pro careers lets look back at our cousins from the USA.
To me they have produced three great Olympic boxing teams that often get's forgotten the 1996 vintage had of course Mayweather,Tarver,Vargas David Reid & David Diaz fair to say some achieved a fair bit more than other's!Winning a gold medal for the star spangled banner didn't always guarantee a bright future in the pro game but it certainly got you a lucrative signing on fee with a manager tv exposure & a feel good factor that would at least bulge your bank balance as long as you knew how to strike while the iron was hot.
1984 was the year USA boxing struck a serious amount of gold 9 in fact should of been 10 but Evander Holyfield had to suffer one of the worst decisions in Olympic history with his disqualification in the semi-finals.It was made easier by the Soviet Union & Cuba boycotting the games but that USA team had some serious talent.Taylor,Whitaker,Breland,Tate,Hill & the unlucky Holyfield all went on to win world titles as pro's.
The team to be feared for me the 1976 Olympic team take the case of Howard Davis jr his toughest fight was just getting there national championship beats a guy you may of heard of....Thomas Hearns then as a reward gets to face Aaron Pryor in the Olympic trials wins a tight decision a call that lit the fire under Pryor's pro career but that can be a story for later!Davis jr struck gold in '76 & was awarded fighter of the tournament a fact forgotten his career in the pro ranks didn't quite take off.He actually won his gold medal a week after his mother passed away some achievement in itself.
Four other gold medals were won by that team Randolph (112lbs).Leon & Michael Spinks struck gold Leon famously went on to take Ali's title in only his eighth pro fight.Michael went on to win light heavy & HW world titles fair to say they cashed in at the time.
Last but not least 1976 produced SRL Davis jr may have won the boxer of the tournament award but seasoned watchers were left in doubt who the future star would be.You all know what a career he went on to have cashed in on his abilty & marketability.It was the days when you really struck $ bringing home the gold SRL became the face of that Olympic team & had the team behind him that knew they had something special not just a golden ticket.
Spare a thought for the man who just missed out Aaron Pryor fair to say he was heartbroken that Davis jr beat him in the trials at 132lbs the inside track being Pryor actually wanted to fight at 139lbs SRL or not!
Pryor carried that with him all through his pro career angry & bitter he followed SRL around calling him out word being SRL didn't want the fight.It get's forgotten the fight was actually going to happen to this observer one of the real great fight's that sadly never came about.Pryor signed in the autumn of 1982 $750k a massive amount of money for a avoided fighter what happened?
SRL before had to fight Roger Stafford while driving down in his car to publicise the fight he heard on the radio his mega fight with SRL was off he had detached a retina in his eye fight off SRL retired six months later for a while.
Years later 'The Hawk' was asked what did you do on hearing that the fight was off?
'Man I pulled over in my car.....and cried my eyes out!'
To the young fighters out there take your opportunities when they come embrace them but sometimes just sometimes hope that lady luck shines on you.....