HAVANA (Reuters) – – Cuban heavyweight boxing great Teofilo Stevenson, who won three Olympic gold medals but turned down a chance to fight Muhammad Ali for $5 million, has died of a heart attack at the age of 60, Cuban state media reported on Monday.
Stevenson won Olympic gold medals in 1972 at Munich, 1976 in Montreal and 1980 in Moscow and was widely considered the greatest amateur boxer of his time.
After the 1976 games, U.S. boxing promoters offered Stevenson $5 million to turn professional and fight Ali, then heavyweight champion of the world.
But he stayed loyal to the Cuban revolution, which outlawed professional sports, and refused.
“What is $1 million compared to the love of 8 million Cubans?” he reportedly said in turning down the fight.
After his fighting career ended, Stevenson became a coach of Cuban boxers and served as vice president of the Cuban Boxing Federation.
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