Although Pro Achievements Are Best Remembered, Are All Olympic Boxing Medalists Still Immortalized?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Italian Stallion, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Active Member Full Member

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    The pinnacle of the career of all athletes is an Olympic medal, if you win a medal, you'll always be an Olympic Medalist, regardless of the color of your medal. This is the prevailing mindset essentially across all disciplines, except in boxing I feel. At least in America, the Olympic medalists seem to be quickly forgotten as only a great pro career can define your legacy. But...technically speaking, are all Olympic boxing medal winners still forever immortalized in boxing history and lore?
     
  2. Pat M

    Pat M Active Member Full Member

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    Guess it depends on how much you value amateur boxing. For me, if a person wins/won a major amateur tournament, he has accomplished a lot! In amateur tournaments, fighters fight until they either win the whole thing or lose and they don't get to pick who they fight. Most pros with top amateur experience will admit that the pro game is easier.
     
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  3. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Boxing Hagiographer Full Member

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    I don't remember having many threads on Harry Mallin or Oliver Kirk.

    I don't think it brings near the fame or legacy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  4. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

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    True - the honor of having won an Olympic medal cannot be taken away from a competitor, who achieved such.

    That said, I can't think of Audley Harrison as being immortalized in boxing history and lore, even though, by virtue of his Olympic SHW Gold, he should be.
     
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  5. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. banned Full Member

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    Yes and no, It depends on who they are, what weight class they are in, and what they did in the professional ranks.

    For example is we are talking about the 1996 games in the USA Wlad won gold at super heavyweight at the amazing age of 20, Savon won gold at heavyweight ( Again ) and Jirov won gold at light heavyweight. Boxing fans know who they are. Who win gold at flyweight? See my point. The lower weight classes don't count as much and the boxers have to be famous people in the boxing community.

    No--most of them are not immortalized. We aren't in the 60's and 70's with the backdrop of the cold war. These days Olympic boxing is a t a low tide with bad judges and lousy coverage. USA boxing is almost out if business.

    These USA boxers were good and famous

    • Muhammad Ali — gold, 1960 (as Cassius Clay)
    • Joe Frazier — gold, 1964
    • George Foreman — gold, 1968
    • Leon Spinks — gold in 1976
    • Michael Spinks — gold in 1976
    • Evander Holyfield — bronze, 1984
    • Riddick Bowe — silver, 1988
    • Roy Jones, Jr. — silver, 1988
    • Oscar De La Hoya– gold in 1992
    • Floyd Mayweather — bronze, 1996

    Notice how the names stop after 1996. That is the problem. 20+ years have passed. Well to be fair Wilder did win Bronze with the help of an easy draw. That was 2008!
     
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  6. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Yeah, nobody remembers the lighter weight medalists in recent years. I mean who ever heard of Vasyl Lomachenko. (rolls eyes) Or Amir Khan. Or Gennady Golovkin. Or Yuriorkis Gamboa. Or Ryota Murata.

    Or even the bigger guys like Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, Alexander Povetkin, Tony Yoka or Joe Joyce or Filip Hrgovic. Totally anonymous.

    Or U.S. medalists like Deontay Wilder, Andre Ward, Rocky Juarez, Jermain Taylor and Antonio Tarver. Just came and went without making a wave at all. (That's sarcasm, again.)

    Seriously, Olympic boxing medalists are still revered, particularly in their own countries.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  7. greynotsoold

    greynotsoold Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I have always looked at amateur boxing as a means to an end, a place to learn the basics, get some rounds before you turn pro and learn how to fight.
    That view has become outdated as the gap between pro and amateur has disappeared. Most of the top pros still fight like amateurs.
     
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  8. LoadedGlove

    LoadedGlove Well-Known Member Full Member

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    There's weight on both sides of this argument but I do feel that a Fighter's legacy in the Pro's is what people remember.
    Hardcore UK fans might be able to tell you that GB's only medallist in 1976 was Pat Cowdell and in 1980 it was Tony Willis but how many remember Bobby Wells in 1984 ?
     
  9. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. banned Full Member

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    LOL, GGG was a middle weight. I wasn't talking welter, but should have clarified few care about the extreme weights. Olympic medalists have trouble getting pro offers in many nations. And the judging is awful. As far this Olympic boxing, its barely hanging in there as a sport for the Olympics.

    The most accomplished Americans you are talking about are retired. and I see zero upper weight fighter. Well I guess if you bottom troll for Wilder you can talk bronze. ( sarcasm )
     
  10. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Active Member Full Member

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    @William Walker Although he never may make the International Boxing Hall of Fame, is Teofilo Stevenson still immortalized in sports (as simply a great athlete in sports history) OR immortalized in boxing in any way?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  11. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Teofilo was what? a four-time Olympic champion? and he beat many great amateurs and future pros alike. That makes him worthy of honor, but tbh you are the first person I've seen who so much as mention Stevenson in my one year so far on the forum.
     
  12. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Active Member Full Member

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    Well these amateur greats deserve a great mention. In the U.S. we place a heavy emphasis on the pros, ignoring the amateur game a bit. Maybe that's because since '88 or '92 translating to the pros pretty much ended with Roy Jones's robbery and Oscar de la Hoya's triumph. But take note that boxing writers such as Lee Groves have suggested the IBHOF add an amateur wing. That may happen in five years' time. It's not all about the pros always I feel. But basically you're answer is such that Stevenson is only honorable mention at best, but not an immortal in sports or boxing?
     
  13. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Active Member Full Member

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    @William Walker He was a three-time Olympic champ; one of only three men to do it. Would have been a four-time if Cuba hadn't boycotted.
     
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  14. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Active Member Full Member

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  15. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I would think Stevenson is regarded in Cuba much the way great American athletes of the past are regarded in the U.S. — be it Ali or Michael Jordan or whatever.

    On the other hand, it’s a small place. So a greater percentage of people there would have interacted with him or know people who have interacted with him.

    Some years ago a journalist went to Cuba and interviewed him. Teo wanted a bottle of rum or something before agreeing to talk to him. The story gave the impression he was a pretty simple guy living comfortably but not lavishly off his reputation.
     
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