Feature

10 great boxers who did not win Olympic gold

George Gigney and Nick Bond list 10 terrific professionals who failed to win Olympic gold medals

10. John H. Stracey (Lightweight, Mexico City 1968)

The loveable Londoner had the misfortune of running into an inspired Ronnie Harris in his second fight of the 1968 Olympic Games. Harris beat him on points and went on to win lightweight gold.

Stracey became ABA light-welterweight champion in 1969 before turning professional at York Hall – not far from where he was born in Bethnal Green.

After amassing a decent record against limited opposition, Stracey was disqualified in the seventh round of his vacant British welterweight title fight against Bobby Arthur in 1972. He won the rematch a year later.

He travelled to France to win the European title against Roger Menetrey and, in 1975, found himself in Mexico against the brilliant Jose Napoles. With 40,000 Mexicans baying for his blood, Stracey rose from a first-round knockdown to close Napoles’ eye and force a sixth-round stoppage. Carlos Palomino and Dave ‘Boy’ Green both stopped Stracey before he retired in 1978, but his win over Napoles will live long in memory.

Boxing news – Newsletter

Current Issue