1984 – Tyrell Biggs (United States)
Without the legendary Teofilo Stevenson competing a the Games due to the Soviet boycott going on at the time, Biggs fought his way to the top of the podium by defeating Francesco Damiani in the final. The Philadelphian remains as America’s only super-heavyweight Olympic champion in history.
He turned professional later that year, debuting on the same show as fellow US Olympic medallists Meldrick Taylor, Mark Breland, Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield and Virgil Hill.
He picked up some decent wins over James Tillis, Reynaldo Snipes and David Bey before running into an unbeaten Mike Tyson in 1987. Tyson, defending his undisputed heavyweight crown, wrecked Biggs inside seven rounds, alleging that he prolonged the beating to “punish” Tyrell for his pre-fight jibes.
Briggs then lost two more on the bounce, including a fifth-round stoppage reverse to Damiani. Gary Mason, Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe would all beat him before Biggs finally retired in 1998 with a record of 30-10 (20). During his career Biggs reportedly battled with drug and alcohol addictions and it has been claimed he served numerous stints in rehab during his fighting career.