Olympic boxing has spawned numerous champions, including Muhammad Ali and Cuba's Teˇfilo Stevenson. An amateurs- only policy has favored communist nations that ban professional boxing; since Barcelona, Cuba have won 11 of the 24 gold medals. There is no seeding, so the two best fighters in each of the 12 divisions could meet in the first round.
The Cubans are confident of a clean sweep. Their biggest obstacle will be the Americans, who won three gold medals at Seoul. Cuban heavyweight (91 kg) Felix Savˇn and middleweight (75 kg) Ariel Hernandez are each seeking a third straight gold. Out to block Savˇn's way is world champ Michael Bennett of the U.S., who learned to box while serving time for armed robbery.
WHEN TO WATCH
48, 54, 60, 67, 75, 91 kgSept. 30
51, 57, 63.5, 71, 81, 91+kg Oct. 1