USA ’84: Twelve Olympians, eleven podiums, and a boxer who didn’t medal – World Boxing Information

World Boxing Information tells the story of one of many nice Olympic boxing groups within the sport’s historical past that ended with just one solitary boxer failing to medal.
The Summer time Olympics of 1984 was a stellar yr for the US Newbie Boxing Staff. A number of future world champions made a reputation for themselves in Los Angeles.
Right here, we take a look at what the implausible assortment of boxers went on to realize. But in addition the one fighter of the twelve-strong squad who didn’t make it to the rostrum in bantamweight Robert Shannon.
At twenty-one, Shannon went into the match as a sizzling favourite to medal. He went into the match having gained the 1984 Nationwide Golden Gloves title.
On the trials for Los Angeles, Shannon defeated Jesse Benavides 5-0 to ebook his place on the group. All anticipated huge issues of the Seattle man.
Defeating Kenyan Sammy Mwangi within the first spherical, Shannon regarded assured going into his second match with South Korea’s Sung-Kil Moon however shockingly acquired taken out within the third spherical of an entertaining slugfest.
Regardless of being warned by coach Pat Nappi to hit and transfer simply moments earlier, Shannon was in hassle instantly within the third. First, he acquired dropped by a tough proper.
The official allowed the struggle to proceed however finally halted an unsteady Shannon on his ft.
Robert Shannon
Having certified 4 years beforehand for Moscow, the occasion acquired boycotted by the USA on account of battle points with the Soviet Union. It was a bitter blow for Shannon.
A flip to the professional ranks beckoned.
Racking up ten straight wins in simply 18 months, Shannon was an actual contender. That was till two attracts in early 1986 led to a primary defeat.
Then, in direction of the tip of 1987, Shannon misplaced in a USBA title problem in opposition to future world champion Greg Richardson.
Shannon tried one other push for world honors, however a loss in opposition to Jose Sanabria in 1987 additional dented his hopes. The 24-year-old would then go on to style defeat in 4 of his subsequent eight bouts earlier than retiring in 1990 on the again of a reverse in opposition to Vinnel Ponzio, whom he’d beforehand overwhelmed.
Turning to educate in later life, Shannon stays across the sport to today. Nonetheless, he appears destined at all times to get remembered because the 1984 Olympian who left the match empty-handed.
The opponent who ended his dream – Solar-Kil Moon, misplaced out within the quarter-finals. Bronze medallist Pedro Nolasco of the Dominican Republic put him out.
Nonetheless, he did go on to grow to be the World Newbie Champion on the bantamweight restrict two years later.
These eleven who did declare prizes in 1984 earned a staggering 9 gold medals on the Video games.
One silver and one bronze rounded off the achievement, the latter of which many imagine ought to have been a tenth gold from Evander Holyfield.
Right here’s a rundown of the spectacular achievement and another profession highlights from the listing of appreciable expertise:
106lbs: Paul Gonzales, Los Angeles, Calif. – Gold Medal
Gonzales would problem the world’s bantamweight title in 1990, shedding out to Orlando Canizales by way of stoppage on cuts and retiring in 1991 after two extra defeats.
He acquired subsequently accused of molesting a 13-year-old woman at a boxing gymnasium the place he taught youths. Gonzales is awaiting trial and will face 18 years in jail.
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112: Steve McCrory, Detroit, Mich. – Gold Medal
McCrory would additionally problem a championship in 1986 in opposition to Jeff Fenech however acquired halted within the 14th spherical.
He equally retired in 1991 following back-to-back losses to Jesse James Leija and Stephane Haccoun.
McCrory sadly died in 2000 following a protracted sickness.
taylor meldrick
125: Meldrick Taylor, Philadelphia, Pa. – Gold Medal
Taylor gained world titles at two weight lessons between 1988 and 1992 however is most remembered for his loss within the dying seconds in opposition to a then-undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez at 68-0 when forward on the scorecards in a WBC title struggle. Taylor would rematch Chavez in 1994, once more for the inexperienced and gold strap, however misplaced within the eighth spherical.
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132: Pernell Whitaker, Norfolk, Va. – Gold Medal
Remembered fondly as one of many fighters of his era, ‘Candy Pea’ gained his first world title in 1989 at light-weight earlier than following up a protracted and profitable run with title wins at 140 and with the World Boxing Council at 147.
Whitaker retired in 2001 with a report of 40-4- 1. He died in July 2019 in a tragic accident.
84 jerry page
139: Jerry Web page, Columbus, Ohio – Gold Medal
Web page finally turned professional in 1985. He managed to place collectively a run of eight victories.
In his first actual check, Web page misplaced to Terrence Alli three extra instances in his subsequent six fights earlier than retiring in 1990.
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147: Mark Breland, Brooklyn, N.Y. – Gold Medal
Breland made a powerful begin to life with out the vest and gained 16 straight earlier than difficult the welterweight title in opposition to Harold Volbrecht. Breland, then simply 23, stopped Volbrecht in seven rounds at Trump Plaza.
The New Yorker misplaced his place to Marlon Starling and failed in a bid to regain a foothold on the high eight months later when the pair shared a draw.
In 1989, Breland would start a second reign earlier than halted by Aaron Davis in his fifth protection, earlier than a 3rd profession loss in 1991 led to a five-year retirement earlier than 5 comeback victories and finally a everlasting retirement in 1997.
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156: Frank Tate, Detroit, Mich. – Gold Medal
Tate bulldozed his approach via the middleweight ranks till capturing a world title in 1987. He surrendered ut in 1988.
Tate headed as much as 168 for a failed bid earlier than settling at 175 and happening to losses in opposition to world rulers twice. He retired in 1998 on 41-5 and would by no means contest a WBC crown.
84 virgil hill comeback
165: Virgil Hill, Williston, N.D. – Silver Medal
Hill regarded unstoppable on his solution to light-heavyweight glory via to 1987, profitable a world title and making ten profitable defenses till Thomas Hearns dethroned him in 1991. Hill recaptured the belt simply over a yr later, sarcastically in opposition to former US Olympic squad team-mate Frank Tate. He made one other ten defenses – yet one more in opposition to Tate-to completely write his place in historical past books.
‘Quicksilver’ misplaced in Germany to Dariusz Michalczewski earlier than happening in opposition to Roy Jones Jr. and transferring as much as cruiserweight, the place he gained the world title on two extra events.
Retiring in 2007, Hill made a quick return in 2015 on the age of 51, beating Jimmy Campbell within the second spherical. Hill’s report at the moment stands at 51-7.
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178: Evander Holyfield, Atlanta, Ga. – Bronze Medal
Robbed of a sure gold medal in opposition to New Zealand’s Kevin Barry by way of a disqualification, Holyfield is much-revered as one of many best of all time in at least two weight lessons.
Changing into undisputed cruiserweight world champion in 1988 when profitable WBC gold, Holyfield then took on all comers on the larger restrict, profitable the undisputed crown and a second WBC belt in 1990 earlier than he reigned as a heavyweight king three extra instances.
Holyfield continues to be an lively member of the WBC household and by no means complains that he ought to have walked away from California as a champion.
tillman tyson
201: Henry Tillman, Los Angeles, Calif. – Gold Medal
Having defeated Mike Tyson by way of a unanimous determination to high quality for Los Angeles and finally taking the highest prize, Tillman acquired extremely touted as a future ruler.
Tillman launched into a cruiserweight profession in December 1984 that culminated in a failed world title problem in opposition to Holyfield in 1987. Tillman was dropped 4 instances en path to a seventh-round stoppage loss within the greatest struggle of his profession.
A transfer as much as heavyweight additionally proved fruitless as Tillman misplaced 4 instances, as soon as to a returning Tyson when ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ had initially misplaced for the primary time in his profession in opposition to Buster Douglas.
Of their much-publicized rematch from the trials, Tillman lasted lower than one spherical.
84 tyrell biggs 2
+201: Tyrell Biggs, Philadelphia, Pa. – Gold Medal
Biggs went on a 15 victory streak on the again of his first-place end in Los Angeles earlier than working into Tyson’s juggernaut in October 1987. Biggs virtually made it to the tip of the seventh earlier than Tyson secured the inevitable stoppage.
A chequered decade transpired for Biggs till he hung up his gloves aged 38 in 1998 on 30-10.
The sensible 1984 group far surpassed the exploits of the 1976 squad. It featured legend Sugar Ray Leonard and the world title-winning Spinks brothers, Michael and Leon.
Sending eleven members to Montreal, Leonard and firm introduced again a haul of 5 golds, one silver, and one bronze as 4 fighters left with out something round their necks.
In 1988, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, and Roy Jones Jr. continued the standout success of the US Olympic boxing program with eight medallists from twelve.
Sadly, nevertheless, the latter was one more sufferer of a contentious determination that basically ought to have meant additional golds for the US group.
Kennedy McKinney, Andrew Maynard, and Mercer took the highest prize.
Jones Jr. needed to accept silver in some of the controversial novice choices of all time in opposition to Park Si-Hun.
Bowe, for his half, was overwhelmed by a greater man on the day in future WBC ambassador Lennox Lewis.
Three medals made it onto the aircraft again from a doable twelve in 1992. They included Oscar De La Hoya’s solitary gold. That was adopted up in 1996 by six fighters bringing a medal house.
Esther Lin
David Reid grabbed gold in entrance of the house followers in Atlanta. Antonio Tarver, Nate Jones, and a teenager named Floyd Mayweather Jr. claimed three of 5 bronze medals from one other gifted dozen.
The Sydney Video games in 2000 produced 4 medals however no golds for the US. Nonetheless, 2004 noticed Andre Ward decide up a one-off gold and team-mate Andre Dirrell take a middleweight bronze after shedding to present WBC ruler Gennady Golovkin.
wilder bronze
One other present WBC king in heavyweight, Deontay Wilder, captured the one medal of 2008 with bronze.
2012 drew a clean once more 4 years later regardless of future world champions Errol Spence and Rau’shee Warren competing.
2016 was barely higher on account of medals from Nico Hernandez and Shakur Stevenson. Nonetheless, the group remained a world away from the 1984 group.
The magnificent eleven all took prizes house, aside from the hard-done-by Shannon.
Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing Information since 2010 with over one billion views. Comply with WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.
© World Boxing Information 2022


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