5 Olympic Medalists Who Later Became Successful Professional Boxers

By Peter C

Over the years, sports lovers have watched a lot of Olympic medalists getting to the peak of their athletics careers. There are also successful professional boxers, both former and current champions, who were once Olympic medalists.

Joe Frazier

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Joe Frazier was an American professional boxer who will forever be remembered as the first boxer to defeat Muhammad Ali in 1971. He got the win via a unanimous decision, marking Ali’s first defeat in 32 fights.

At the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics, Joe Frazier won the only gold medal for America in the boxing category.

Laszlo Papp

The three-time gold medalist was the first Olympic boxer to win gold medals in three consecutive Olympic Games. The first time was in 1948, the second time was in 1952, and the third time was at the Melbourne 1956 Summer Olympics. Except for his last Olympic final, Papp won his 12 previous Olympic fights.

As a professional boxer, the Hungarian had a very successful boxing career. To show how great he was, he finished his boxing career undefeated.

Lennox Lewis

At the 1988 Olympics, Lewis defeated Riddick Bowe to win a gold medal for his country.

He started his professional career in 1989 and retired from the sport in 2003.  He is a three-time heavyweight champion and a two-time lineal champion.

Teofilo Stevenson

Cuban amateur boxer Teofilo Stevenson was fortunate to be among the few Olympic boxers ever to win three Olympic gold medals.

Stevenson’s eleven-year unbeaten streak ended at the 1982 World Amateur Boxing Championships when he lost to Francesco Damiani.

Mohammed Ali

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Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics for America. A lot of people see him as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.