What was the fortune of Olympic heavyweight champions: an interesting trend

The 1988 British heavyweight champion was Briton Lennox Lewis, who then represented Canada. Lewis, unlike Biggs, achieved great success in professional boxing – he won the world titles in WBC, WBA, IBF, and IBO, his record only in battles for the world title is 15-2-1 (9 KOs). Yes, Lewis also had unfortunate moments – two defeats from the seemingly hopeless underdogs of Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman – but no one will deny that Lennox Lewis went down in boxing history as an outstanding boxer. In 1992, the Cuban Roberto Balado won the gold medal at the Olympic Heavyweight Championship. Like the vast majority of Cuban boxers of the time (with the exception of fugitives like Jorge Luis Gonzalez), Balado did not go into professional boxing, and the life of this talented boxer tragically ended in a car accident on July 2, 1994. At the time of the death of Roberto Balado was only 25 years old.

The next Olympic champion in heavyweight was Ukrainian Vladimir Klitschko. In professional boxing, he largely repeated the path of Lennox Lewis – he became the dominant champion, won the IBF, WBA, WBO, and IBO world champion titles, and his record in the battles for the world title is generally amazing – 25-3 (19 KOs). Like Lewis, Klitschko had shocking defeats from absolute underdogs, but there is no doubt that Vladimir will also go down in boxing history as an outstanding champion. Briton Audley Harrison became the 2000 Olympic heavyweight champion. He was promised a great future in professional boxing, and some even believed that Harrison could become the new Lennox Lewis. But the fate of Audley Harrison in the pro ring was even worse than that of Tyrell Biggs – at the end of Audley’s career, many called it a laughing stock. Harrison lost four fights before the title fight, and not the most powerful boxers.

Therefore, the duel for the world title against his compatriot David Haye became a real gift of fate for Audley, although Audley, of course, did not use it, losing Haye by technical knockout in the third round. After that, Harrison had several more victories over the middle peasants and devastating knockout defeats in the first round against David Price and Deontay Wilder. The next Olympic heavyweight champion was the Russian Alexander Povetkin. Povetkin’s professional career may not have met the expectations of his fans (at least not yet), and it certainly cannot be described as outstanding, but he did not repeat the fate of his predecessors Tyrell Biggs and Audley Harrison.

 A good, solid career, which still has a chance to develop into something more if Povetkin still wins the WBC title. Although Alexander will be 37 years old tomorrow, so a dominant champion like Lewis or Klitschko certainly will not work out of him. In 2008, the Italian champion Roberto Cammarelle became the heavyweight champion. He never turned into a professional, although he had good data to bring a stir in professional boxing.

Ryan Helton

A technology enthusiast since childhood, Ryan is known for his impeccable knowledge in the technology and gadgets niche. He has been working with TheOlympicsToday as a contributor for Tech/Gadgets category and his articles are always well-researched and accurate.