Boxers Who Went for Gold and Got It
The U.S.A. doesn’t produce boxers the way we use too. Every other year it seemed another great would rise up from the shadows. Every four years these boxers would show their greatness to the world by winning an Olympic gold medal. Here are just a few of the greats that raised up and grabbed an Olympic gold medal, as well as a place in boxing history.
Joe Frazier (1964)
His career started when he went to a gym to workout. He never thought about being a pro boxer at this point. He just wanted to get in shape. However, shortly after joining, he got the bug and went on to be one of the best amateur heavyweights in the U.S.A..
After winning the gold medal in 1964, he went on to be a great pro as well. He won his first eleven bouts. By 1967, Frazier had a 19-0 record, but his greatest match was yet to come. In 1971, Joe Frazier squared off with another great legend named Muhammad Ali. There match lasted 15 rounds. Frazier knocked Ali down with a left hook for a four count knock down. In the end however, Frazier would win that match up by decision. In 1973, he finally lost his heavy weight throne to George Edward Foreman in two rounds. Later on, Frazier would have another shot to regain the title from Ali, but this time Ali came out on top. Joe Frazier retired for good about five or six years later.
George Edward Foreman (1968)
George Foreman was another great amateur fighter. He lost only two out of twenty-four bouts and in less then three years he was an Olympic gold medalist. Shortly after he turned pro.
As a pro he was feared. He had one of the hardest punches in boxing at the time. He remained unbeaten for forty straight fights. 37 of those fights were by knockout. In 1973, he became a heavyweight champion after beaten Joe Frazier for the title. After defending his title successfully a few times, he lost it to none other then Muhammad Ali in 1974. It would almost twenty years before he would hold the title again. He only held onto it for a short while, before losing a decision to Shannon Briggs.
Sugar Ray Leonard (1976)
Ray Leonard won a gold medal in light-welterweight division in the 1976 Olympics. In 1979, Sugar Ray Leonard became a WBO welterweight champ. He never lost the title for long and pretty much remained champ until 1981, when he first retied. However, he returned again for a short while, only to retire a short time after. However, Leonard couldn’t stat away for long and in 1987, He came back to win the middle weight title. Sugar Ray Leonard continued to compete in boxing for other ten years before he finally would walk away from the sport for good.
Ray Mercer (1988)
Ray Mercer competed as an amateur while serving in the army. He had an amateur of 64-6 and in 1988 he won the Olympic gold medal as a heavyweight. After winning the gold medal, he turned pro. He became WBO heavyweight campion. He never became a world heavyweight champ, but he put up some great fight and exciting fights.
Oscar De La Hoya (1992)
Oscar won the gold medal for the United states in 1992. He is often referred to as the golden boy. His accomplishments include victories over 17 world champions and ten world titles in six different weight classes. He is also the biggest money maker in the history of the sport so far.