3X Olympic boxing gold medalist Teofilo Stevenson dead at age 60

source: msn.foxsports.com

Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson, the three-time Olympic heavyweight champion with a devastating right hand and a gentlemanly demeanor, has died. He was 60.

A sports official said Stevenson had a heart attack.

Considered by some to be the most accomplished amateur boxer in history, Stevenson first won gold in 1972 in Munich and followed that up in 1976 at Montreal.

In 1980, he won his third Olympic title in Moscow, becoming the second boxer to win gold at three separate games after Hungarian Lazlo Papp. Felix Savon, Stevenson's countryman, accomplished the feat in 2000.

Stevenson was forced to pass up a shot at a fourth Olympic gold when Cuba did not attend the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. He retired in 1988 after Cuba decided to skip the Seoul Olympics as well.

Known affectionately on the island by the nickname ''Pirolo,'' Stevenson was famous for his punishing right, polished technique, deft hand and footwork, and his sportsmanship.

Stevenson was born March 29, 1952, to a family of modest means, in Las Tunas province in eastern Cuba. He fought in his first match at the age of 14, and two years later won his first international title in the Central American and Caribbean championship.

As his accomplishments grew, boxing fans began salivating over the prospect of a ''fight of the century'' pitting him against Muhammad Ali. But Cuba insisted that he not lose his amateur status, and the bout never took place.

Stevenson passed up millions by not leaving Communist-run Cuba to turn pro, but expressed no remorse.

''I prefer the affection of 8 million Cubans,'' he once said.

In his later years, Stevenson served as vice president of Cuba's boxing federation and at the island's national sports institute. He had two children.

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Recent Comments »

bhealthy site profile image  

6/13/12 3:37 PM by bhealthy

RIP. he was 100% awesome

buddie site profile image  

6/13/12 12:55 PM by buddie

Savon fought like George Foreman, power and size and less finesse. He would be a tough fight for anyone at any period and would have made a great pro cruiser. Teofilo was way smoother, and a better overall fighter IMO. But if we are comparing across weight classes, to say the guy was better than Mark Breland? Hump, ...not convinced...

Chappie site profile image  

6/13/12 3:43 AM by Chappie

Best amatuer heavyweight that I ever saw, including Savon. It too bad that never competed as a professional, with his right hand, technical skills and toughness, he would have been tough to beat (although everyone thought that same thing about Mark Breland as well). I still laugh watching video of Stevenson's protege Savon destroying a cocky ass young Shannon Briggs.

GNPfan site profile image  

6/13/12 3:07 AM by GNPfan

So I got to thinking about when I seen Stevenson fight Biggs so I got out the fight program and apparently I had got some autographs that day that I had forgot about. Teofilo StevensonTyrell BiggsMark BrelandMichael GroganParnell Whitaker fought that day but I didn't get his autograph.My blue name ran out, so would a blue please post this imagehttp://i45.tinypic.com/2yzbvv9.jpg

Seamus619 site profile image  

6/13/12 1:51 AM by Seamus619

RIP :-(

GNPfan site profile image  

6/13/12 1:45 AM by GNPfan

That's awesome! I would make him tell me about the experience every time I seen him, lol!!

Gerbacio site profile image  

6/12/12 12:31 PM by Gerbacio

Descansa en Paz!!!!!

buddie site profile image  

6/12/12 12:30 PM by buddie

To win 3 gold medals is so incredible, what a talent this guy was. He was miles more polished and smooth than Felix Savon.

buddie site profile image  

6/12/12 12:22 PM by buddie

He's one of the best olympians ever. In fact, I read that there was a preliminary agreement to have him fight with Ali in a best of series of 5, 3 round fights IIRC, allowing Teofilo to keep his amateur status. Never came to be obviously, but what a fight that would have been, two gold medalists with all time great skills, America vs Cuba!