STEVENSON, TEOFILO SIGNED PHOTO

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Regular price $150.00

Teófilo Stevenson Lawrence (29 March 1952 – 11 June 2012), known as Teófilo Stevenson, was a Cuban amateur boxer. He is one of only three boxers to win three Olympic gold medals, alongside Hungarian László Papp and fellow Cuban Félix Savón. The BBC described him as "Cuba's greatest boxer, once its most famous figure after Fidel Castro". Stevenson, at age twenty, joined the Cuban boxing team for the Munich Olympics of 1972 with high hopes resting on his performance. His opening bout against experienced Polish fighter Ludwik Denderys began dramatically when Stevenson knocked the other man down within thirty seconds of the opening bell. The fight was stopped moments later due to a large cut next to the Pole's eye. Proceeding to the quarter finals, Stevenson met fancied American boxer Duane Bobick. Bobick, a gold medalist at the 1971 Pan American Games, had beaten Stevenson previously, and was considered favorite to continue the U.S. team's dominance of the weight division; previous American gold medalists included George Foreman (1968) and Joe Frazier (1964). After a close first round, Stevenson lost the second, but a ferocious display in the third round knocked Bobick to the canvas three times and the contest was stopped. The victory was viewed on television throughout Cuba, and is still considered Stevenson's most memorable performance. Stevenson easily defeated German Peter Hussing in the semi final, and received his gold medal after Romanian Ion Alexe failed to appear in the final due to injury. The Cuban boxing team won three gold medals, their first in Olympic boxing history, as well as one silver and one bronze medal. The Munich games established Cuba's dominance over the amateur sport that was to last decades. It also established Stevenson as the world's premier amateur heavyweight boxer. Stevenson did the same at the inaugural 1974 World Championships in Havana, Cuba, and then in the 1976 Summer Olympics, held in Montreal, Stevenson repeated the feat once again. By then, he had become a national hero in Cuba, where he had become a household name. This was the point where he was the closest to signing a professional contract, as American fight promoters offered him US$ 5 million to challenge world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. If he had accepted, it would have made Stevenson the second boxer to go straight from the Olympics into a professional debut with the world's Heavyweight crown on the line, after Pete Rademacher. Stevenson refused the offer, however, asking "What is one million dollars compared to the love of eight million Cubans?" Stevenson went to the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow and became the second boxer ever, after Papp, to win three Olympic boxing gold medals. Stevenson participated at the 1982 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Munich, but lost to the eventual silver medalist and future professional world champion Francesco Damiani from Italy. This fight ended a 11 years of unbeaten run from Stevenson and it was the only occasion that he did not win the gold medal at the World Championships when he entered the competition. Stevenson might have won a fourth gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics, but the Soviet Union boycotted the games, which were hosted by Los Angeles, in retaliation for the United States boycott of the 1980 Moscow competition. Cuba followed the Soviet lead, and Stevenson was deprived of the chance to earn a fourth gold. For consolation, he beat the future Olympic champion Tyrell Biggs in February 1984. At the 1986 World Amateur Boxing Championships, he won the super heavyweight gold, defeating Alex Garcia from the United States in the final. Stevenson retired from boxing shortly after the 1988 Summer Olympics, which Cuba also boycotted. During his career as a boxer, he won 302 fights and lost only 22. Offered here is a signed photograph of Teofilo Stevenson picturing him receiving his Olympic gold medal.
This is a black and white action photograph. Clean front and back. No creases or tears. Boldly signed in black sharpie. Minor edge wear. 8" x 10."

Size: 8 x 10

Condition: near mint