On September 22, 2018, there was a fight between professional boxers Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin. Both athletes went through amateur boxing and were even Olympic boxing champions. In this article, you will find out who else from the Olympic Games gold medalists built a successful professional boxing career.
Mohammed Ali – Gold Medalist of the 1960 Olympics
After Ali’s victory at the Olympics, racial segregation was still in place in Louisville, where he lived. One day he went to a restaurant but was refused to be served and even asked to leave. After this incident, Mohammed threw out his medal and received a duplicate only in 36 years’ time.
Mohammed Ali is one of the most famous boxers in the world and the absolute heavyweight champion. The future idol of millions of young athletes wanted to immediately start a professional career, but the coach persuaded him to take part in the Olympics first. At the age of 18, Cassius Clay (Ali’s real name) went to the Olympic Games in Italy, where the boxer received the gold medal, having defeated the experienced Pole Zbigniew Pietrzykowski in the final.
Mohammed was very proud of this award, having become a real hero in his town. During some period after the fight, he was wearing the medal without taking it off. In professional boxing, Clay took part in 61 fights (56 victories) and 6 times received the title of "Boxer of the Year". He is also included in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
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Lennox Lewis –1988 Olympic Boxing Champion
The absolute world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis had 105 fights during his amateur career (94 victories). He came to the Olympics at the age of 23, defeating his compatriot Riddick Bow in the final by technical knockout.
A year later, Lennox began his brilliant career in professional boxing, having had only two losses in 44 fights over almost 14 years.
Wladimir Klitschko – Gold Medal in Boxing in the Olympic Games 1996
The former WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO and Ring world heavyweight champion together with his brother terrified their weight class. However, it was Wladimir who in 1996 went to Atlanta and won the title of Olympic champion.
In amateur boxing Klitschko had amazing statistics – 140 fights and only 3 losses. As a professional boxer, "Dr. Steel Hammer" had 69 fights (64 victories) for over 20 years.
Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk – 2012 Olympic Boxing Champions
These two London Olympics champions occupy a leading position in the heavyweight boxing classes. Anthony – in the heavyweight class, and Oleksandr – in the cruiserweight class. Both began their professional careers in 2013 and they still have no losses.
However, if Anthony had a rather short career in amateur boxing (43 fights and 3 defeats), then Usyk took part in more than 300 fights. By his example, the Ukrainian proves that the word “amateur” does not always correspond to unprofessional; after all, Oleksandr has won all major belts in his class.
It is possible that these boxers, the 2012 Olympic champions, will meet in the ring in the future. Moreover, Usyk declared his desire to turn into a heavyweight class soon, so it is only a matter of time.
As mentioned earlier, McGregor has officially announced his return with an upcoming fight against Donald Cerrone in January 2020.