STARS AND STRIPES
Mark Breland was just one of many American Olympic gold medallists to then win a world title as a pro
1. MUHAMMAD ALI
Later known as ‘The Greatest’, Muhammad Ali’s journey began with a gold medal as a light-heavyweight at the 1960 Olympics. He then defeated Sonny Liston in 1964 to become world heavyweight champion and starred in some of the most iconic heavyweight fights of all time.
2. RAY LEONARD
The gifted Leonard was a light-welterweight gold medallist at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. He then became the world welterweight champion with a win over Wilfred Benítez and secured his legacy with victories against the likes of Duran, Hagler and Hearns.
3. GEORGE FOREMAN
Hard-hitting Foreman won his gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and then famously blitzed Joe Frazier in two rounds to become world heavyweight champion in 1973.
4. JOE FRAZIER
Frazier had his gold medal moment at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo and won the world heavyweight title in 1970 with a fourth-round stoppage of Jimmy Ellis. Less than a year later, he beat Muhammad Ali in one of the division’s great 15-rounders.
5. FLOYD PATTERSON
Competing as a middleweight, Patterson won his Olympic gold medal at the 1952 Games in Helsinki. He then beat Archie Moore to win the world heavyweight title four years later.
6. PERNELL WHITAKER
‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker grabbed his lightweight gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He’d go on to win world titles as a lightweight, juniorwelterweight, welterweight and super-welterweight.
7. OSCAR DE LA HOYA
De La Hoya was a lightweight when he won his gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. As a pro, he secured world titles as a junior-lightweight, lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight, lightmiddleweight and middleweight.
8. MICHAEL SPINKS
Spinks won an Olympic gold medal as a middleweight in 1976 and reigned as world light-heavyweight champion from 1981 to 1985. He then moved to heavyweight, winning the IBF title from Larry Holmes.
9. ANDRE WARD
Ward was the light-heavyweight gold medallist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and would go on to win a bevy of world titles as a pro super-middle and light-heavy.
10. LEON SPINKS
A light-heavyweight gold medallist at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Spinks, two years later, defeated Muhammad Ali in just his eighth pro fight.