Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson, a three-time world and Olympic
boxing champ, died in Havana from heart problems, state media reported.
He was 60.

Stevenson, considered one of the greatest Cuban boxers of all time, died on Monday.

He
was vice president of the Cuban Boxing Federation and worked for the
National Retired Athletes Commission and for the National Sports and
Physical Education Institute, or Inder.

Stevenson took part
Saturday in a walk held in Havana focused on the 2012 Olympic Games in
London, along with more than 100 of the island’s most outstanding
athletes.

State television reported Monday on the prizefighter’s
“victories, modesty and patriotism” and said that “beyond the glory won
in the ring, his death leaves an incalculable vacancy at the heart of
Cuban revolutionary sports.”

Popularly known as “Pirolo” and “the
Giant of Central Delicias,” a reference to the town in the eastern
province of Las Tunas where he was born on March 29, 1952, Stevenson won
all the titles of the International Amateur Boxing Association, or
AIBA.

He followed in the footsteps of fighters like Muhammad Ali,
George Foreman, Ken Norton and Laszlo Papp. He was world
light-heavyweight champion in 1969 and went on to dominate the
heavyweight category the following year to become Caribbean champ.

The
first Panamerican Games in which he fought were in 1971 at Cali,
Colombia, but he took his first Panamerican gold medal as a heavyweight
at the 1975 games in Mexico.

He was 25 when he was crowed Olympic
champion for the first time at the 1972 Munich games, and since then he
never stopped accumulating the titles that rank him as the best amateur
prizefighter in history: Montreal in 1976, San Juan in 1979 and Moscow
in 1980, plus several world championships.

He was also triple
champion as a middleweight and light-middleweight and three times world
champ in Havana in 1974, Belgrade in 1978 and Reno in 1986.

In the
course of his brilliant career he picked up the double title of Central
American and Caribbean champ in 1974 and 1982, and was a six-time
champion of the Central American boxing tourney between 1970 and 1977.

His crushing right hand was so powerful that, according to commentators, most of his fights ended with a knockout.

Following
his devastating triumph at the world championships in the U.S. city of
Reno in 1986, the island’s legendary athlete decided to hang up his
gloves. He said his farewells in July 1988 at the Giraldo Cordova Cardin
international boxing tourney.

Stevenson scored 301 wins in the
321 bouts in which he fought during his 20 years in the ring. In all
that time he had only 20 losses, two of them to Russian prizefighter
Igor Visotski. EFE