Savon, a legend in his own way

Golden Heroes

Teofilo Stevenson might be the most revered boxer in Cuba and considered one of the best to grace the circuit, but compatriot Felix Savon’s accomplishments in the ring is no less spectacular.

Just like Stevenson who never looked back since his first bout at the age of 14, Savon rose to prominence when he captured the heavyweight title at the World Junior Championship in 1985. The 6’5” marauder then just went about stacking one major title after another, etching his name among the best.

In a stellar career that included six World Amateur Championship titles, three Pan-American Games gold, four Central American and Caribbean Games gold, the crowning moment for Savon was a third Olympic gold at the Sydney Games which put him on par with Stevenson and Hungarian great Laszlo Papp.

Savon, who was born on April 22, 1967 in San Vicente, could have gone one better than those greats but with Cuba choosing to stay away from the 1988 Seoul Games and he being forced to retire in 2001 because of the International Amateur Boxing Association rule that prohibited pugilists from competing beyond their 34th birthday, he fell short of a record haul.

Savon too remained dedicated to the Cuban Revolution and repeatedly turned down offers to turn professional.  In Dec 2002, he decided to turn his talents to training and now guides up and coming youngsters in the world of boxing.

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