Tefilo Stevenson

1 minute read
Nate Rawlings

In an era when amateur boxing was routinely on TV, few pugilists dominated the circuit like Cuban heavyweight Tefilo Stevenson. Standing 6 ft. 3.5 in. (192 cm), with a tremendous reach, Stevenson, who died June 11 of a heart attack at age 60, combined speedy hands and a punishing straight right to win Olympic gold medals in 1972 in Munich, 1976 in Montreal and 1980 in Moscow. After his first gold, promoters offered Stevenson $1 million to turn professional and fight Muhammad Ali. Under the headline “He’d Rather Be Red than Rich,” Sports Illustrated quoted Stevenson as responding, “What is a million dollars against 8 million Cubans who love me?” He remained an amateur and might have won a fourth gold medal, but Cuba boycotted the 1984 and ’88 Games.

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