Cuba's Heavyweight icon, three-time Olympic Champion Teófilo Stevenson passed away aged 60 last night in Havana. He is one of only three boxers to ever win three Olympic gold medals alongside Hungary's Laszlo Papp and Cuba's Felix Savon. The boxing world is in mourning at the passing of such a great.
"In my capacity of President of the International Boxing Association, and on behalf of the entire boxing family, I would like to express my most heartfelt condolences and my deepest sympathy for the mourning of Cuban boxing legend and friend, Mr Teófilo Stevenson, three times Olympic Champion and World Champion, one of the best boxers of all times", has declared Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, AIBA President.
"We all know that his passing will not only leave a void in the Cuban Federation, but in the hearts of all those who knew him within the boxing family".
Teófilo Stevenson was born to immigrant parents in Puerto Padre, Cuba on March 29 1952 and started boxing career at thirteen before entering his first contest a year later before securing his place in the national elite team in 1970. At the tender age of 18, he took silver at the Central American Championships.
Following his first major international success at the 1971 Pan American Games, the orthodox Stevenson was the outstanding boxer at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, winning the gold medal and taking the Val Barker Trophy. Stevenson stature grew even more after showcasing his sensational style with some magnificent performances in the historical first edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in 1974, where he was crowned the World Heavyweight Champion after taking gold once again.
Stevenson ensured his place in history by successfully defending his Olympic title at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and then again at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, to equal the legendary Laszlo Papp. He was widely tipped to win a fourth gold medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympic Games but Cuba followed the Soviet Union in withdrawing from the event. Stevenson's last major competition appearance in his magnificent career was a winning one as he took the gold medal at the 1986 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Reno.
Considered by many as one of the most accomplished boxers in history, the passing of 'Pirolo', as he was affectionately known, is a major loss to the sport. He will however always be remembered as having one of the most punishing rights in boxing, jaw-dropping footwork but above all as one of the gentleman of the sport. His person and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.
1971 - Pan American Games (Cali, COL) 1st place
1972 - Olympic Games (Munich, GER) 1st place
1974 - AIBA World Championships (Havana, CUB) 1st place
1975 - Pan American Games (Mexico City, MEX) 1st place
1976 - Olympic Games (Montreal, CAN) 1st place
1978 - AIBA World Championships (Beograd, YUG) 1st place
1979 - Pan American Games (San Juan, PUR) 1st place
1980 - Olympic Games (Moscow, URS) 1st place
1986 - AIBA World Championships (Reno, USA) 1st place
Records: 324 bouts (302-0-22)
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