Teófilo Stevenson was very popular in Soviet times. You always heard his name from coaches being used as an example. We didn’t have YouTube in those days, so I couldn’t see his fights, but he was an inspiration to us.
I met him for the first time in 1995 in Berlin at the amateur world championships. I was amazed by his size—he was a really tall guy. But size doesn’t always matter. It depends on how you use the tools you get from Mother Nature. For Stevenson, that was his right hand.
Amateur boxing is challenging because you have four or five fights in one week—or two weeks during the Olympics, where Stevenson was a gold medalist for Cuba three times. You have to change your style and switch strategy for every opponent. In every country, every athlete has this dream to win the gold, and it happens only once in four years, so you have to be right on the dot to make it. Just to try to be an Olympic champion once is a tough job. Teófilo Stevenson was a great champion.
Klitschko is a heavyweight-boxing world champion and an Olympic gold medalist for Ukraine
Next Donna Summer