A number of boxing legends punctuated their beginner careers with a medal win on the grandest of worldwide levels — the Olympics.
Right here, DAZN Information relives Olympic moments from a dozen candy science greats, together with Anthony Joshua, Oscar De La Hoya, Claressa Shields, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Muhammad Ali.
Oscar De La Hoya; Gold medal at 1992 Olympics
At 19-years-old, “The Golden Boy” emotionally devoted his 1992 Olympic gold medal win to his late mom, Cecilia. He’d use that victory over German boxer Marco Rudolph within the closing as a springboard for a professional profession that began in November of that very same 12 months and resulted within the East Los Angeles native turning into a six-division world champion.
Evander Holyfield; Bronze medal at 1984 Olympics
“The Actual Deal” went on to grow to be an undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight champion within the three-belt period and the one four-time world heavyweight titleholder in boxing historical past. However not earlier than he was robbed of a possible gold medal through the 1984 Olympic Video games, when a referee inexplicably known as for a break whereas he was within the strategy of launching a left hook to New Zealand’s Kevin Barry’s head within the second spherical of their semifinal mild heavyweight match. Barry wasn’t capable of proceed and what ought to have been a Holyfield win was declared a disqualification, because the dejected future Corridor of Famer needed to accept a bronze within the Los Angeles Video games.
Roy Jones Jr.; Silver medal at 1988 Olympics
Whereas Holyfield’s end on the Olympics was controversial and reeked of a theft, Jones’ remedy in Seoul was a downright mugging that left a stench and stain on Olympic boxing. Jones, then 19, had beat Park Si-Hun, outlanding him in punches 86 to 32 over three rounds. But, when it was time for judges to attain the struggle, they inexplicably had Jones dropping, awarding the South Korean fighter with the gold medal, whereas Jones was relegated to a painful silver. Jones memorably coated his face with a towel and walked out of the ring surprised. He’d grow to be a professional lower than a 12 months later and go on to grow to be a four-division world champion, together with reigns at middleweight, tremendous middleweight, mild heavyweight and heavyweight.
Lennox Lewis; Gold medal at 1988 Olympics
Though they by no means fought as professionals, Lewis did execute a second-round stoppage in opposition to Riddick Bowe to win the tremendous heavyweight gold medal representing Canda at Seoul. Regardless of that rematch by no means occurring on the professional scene, Lewis turned a three-time world heavyweight champ, defeating the likes of Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko over the course of his Corridor of Fame profession.
Pernell Whitaker; Gold medal at 1984 Olympics
The U.S. 1984 Olympic boxing staff was stacked, touting 9 gold medalists, together with Whitaker, Mark Breland and Tyrell Biggs. It might have been 10 if Evander Holyfield wasn’t robbed. Anyhow, Whitaker confirmed his boxing brilliance to return by soundly defeating Puerto Rican boxer Luis Ortiz to say the gold at light-weight. That might propel a four-division world championship professional profession, together with indelible fights with Julio Cesar Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya — to not point out, a reverence from fellow boxers that continues as we speak effectively previous his premature dying in 2019.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.; Bronze medal at 1996 Olympics
A pristine 50-0 document as an expert over the course of a four-division world championship run, Mayweather actually stamped his case for calling himself “The Finest Ever.” Nonetheless, he needed to study to style stinging defeat on the Olympic stage first. Though it was very reminiscient of Roy Jones Jr.’s remedy in Seoul eight years prior, Mayweather dropped a controversial determination to Bulgarian boxer Serafim Todorov to seize the bronze medal in a bout that he seemingly did greater than sufficient to win. In fact, Mayweather made up for it by by no means tasting defeat once more.
Joe Frazier; Gold medal at 1964 Olympics
A damaged thumb would not cease “Smokin’ Joe” from snatching gold on the Tokyo Video games in 1964. The grandest of worldwide levels had Frazier flashing the identical left hook that he’d detonate on Muhammad Ali within the “Battle of the Century,” defeating “The Biggest” again in March 1971 in a basic bout that simply loved its fiftieth anniversary, completely etched into boxing followers’ minds and hearts eternally.
George Foreman; Gold medal at 1968 Olympics
Nicely earlier than “Large George” turned one of the intimidating, feared punchers in heavyweight boxing historical past, he was a gold medalist in Mexico Metropolis, the place he bludgeoned Russian boxer Jonas Čepulis to a second-round stoppage with these weapons he calls fingers. That very same energy by no means left — the proof being a Tenth-round KO of 26-year-old Michael Moorer in November 1994 to grow to be a two-time heavyweight champion and oldest heavyweight titleholder of all time at 45-years-old.
Anthony Joshua; Gold medal at 2012 Olympics
How candy it was for younger AJ to win the gold on his residence soil in London. Nonetheless, it wasn’t straightforward. Joshua needed to outpoint battle-tested Cuban Erislandy Savón within the opening draw, earlier than having to dig again to edge Italian Roberto Cammarelle within the closing. That early mettle would reassert itself as a professional, the place AJ is already a two-time unified world heavyweight champion at 31-years-old, seeking to be seize undisputed glory later this 12 months.
Vasiliy Lomachenko; Gold medal at 2008 and 2012 Olympics
A part of the Ukrainian’s stellar 396-1 beginner ledger included back-to-back Olympic gold medals on the 2008 and 2012 Summer time Video games in Beijing and London, respectively. The truth that he achieved the feats at featherweight and light-weight paved the best way for Loma to grow to be a three-division world champion, together with reigns at featherweight, junior light-weight and light-weight.
Claressa Shields; Gold medal at 2012 and 2016 Olympics
Shields doubled up on gold medals, too, making her the primary American boxer — feminine or male — to win gold in two straight Olympic Video games. The herstory continues, as Shields produced a unanimous determination over Marie-Eve Dicaire in March 2021 to grow to be the primary boxer ever — feminine or male — to be topped undisputed world champion in two weight lessons concurrently through the four-belt period. Later this 12 months, the self-proclaimed GWOAT (Biggest Lady of All Time) will try and grow to be the primary fight sports activities athlete to carry a world boxing title and blended martial arts championship on the identical time.
Muhammad Ali; Gold medal at 1960 Olympics
Ali lighting the torch to launch the 1996 Olympic Video games turned synonymous with “The Biggest” in relation to his iconic Olympic moments. Nonetheless, you’d should date again to 36 years prior, the place Ali, then Cassius Clay, delivered a gold medal as a lightweight heavyweight within the 1960 Summer time Video games in Rome as his introduction to the grandest worldwide beginner stage. He’d flip skilled in October of that very same 12 months, occurring to grow to be a three-time heavyweight champion and arguably essentially the most beloved boxer and world sports activities icon of his technology and past.