Remembering the Famous 1976 USA Olympic Boxing Team!
By Ken Hissner: This article will contain each of the members of the 1976 USA Olympic Boxing team as amateurs and their accomplishments as professionals. Many, along with this writer, felt it was the greatest USA Olympic Boxing team.
The 1984 Olympic team won more Gold Medals but didn’t compete against countries like Cuba and Russia, who didn’t participate in 1984 but did in 1976. Their absence in 1984 was due to President Jimmy Carter’s controversial decision not to have the USA compete in the 1980 Olympics that were held in Moscow, Russia.
At Heavyweight was “Big” John Tate, who won a Bronze Medal, winning his first two bouts before losing to legendary 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist Cuba’s Teofilo Stevenson. As an amateur, Tate was 50-7 with wins over Greg Page and Michael Dokes, who would become world heavyweight champions. Tate was the 1975 and 1976 Memphis Golden Glove champion. As a professional, Tate was the WBA & WBC champion with a 34-3 (23) record.
At Light Heavyweight was “Neon” Leon Spinks, who won an Olympic Gold Medal. He was the National AAU champion from 1974-76. As a professional, he was the WBC & WBA Heavyweight champion with a 26-17-3 (14) record.
At Middleweight was Michael “Jinx” Spinks, who won an Olympic Gold Medal. He was the National Golden Gloves champion from 1974-to 76. As a professional, he was the WBA, WBC & IBF light heavyweight champion and the first reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title as the IBF title. As a professional, he was 31-1 (21). He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1994.
At Light Middleweight was Chuck “White Chocolate” Walker, who lost a disputed 3-2 decision in the first round. He was the 1975 National AAU champion and 1975 Pan American Bronze Medalist. As a professional, he was 9-1-1 (3) per Box Rec, though, claiming to have two more wins.
At Welterweight was Clint “The Sheriff” Jackson, who didn’t medal but won his first two bouts. He was the 1974-77 National AAU champion and the 1974-76 National Golden Gloves champion. He was a Silver Medalist at the 1974 World Amateur Championships and 1975 Pan Am Gold Medalist. As a professional, he was 25-7 (19).
At Light welterweight was “Sugar” Ray Leonard, the Olympic Gold Medalist. He was the 1973-74 National Golden Gloves and 1974-75 National AAU champion. He was the 1975 Pan American Gold Medalist. He was 145-5 with 75 knockouts. As a professional, he was 36-3-1 (25). He was the WBC & WBA Welterweight champion, WBA Light Middleweight champion, WBC Middleweight champion, WBC Super Middleweight champion, and the WBC Light Heavyweight champion. He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1997.
At Lightweight was Howard Davis, the Olympic Gold Medalist winning the Val Barker Trophy as the Olympics’ most outstanding boxer. He was the 1973-4 and 1976 National AAU champion. As a professional, he was 36-6-1 (14). He challenged for a world title three times unsuccessfully.
At Featherweight was Davey Armstrong, who was 2-1, placing fifth. He was also on the 1972 Olympic team going 1-1. He was the National AAU champion in 1972, 1975-76, and 1979. He was the National Golden Gloves champion in 1976 and 1978. As a professional, he was 24-3 (14) and the NABF Lightweight champion.
At Bantamweight was Charles Mooney, who was the Silver Medalist. He was the US Army champion. He was the only member of the Olympic team not to turn professional. He made his career in the US Army with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He went on to be a boxing trainer in the professional ranks.
At Flyweight was Leo Randolph, who was the Olympic Gold Medalist. As an amateur, he was 160-7. He was the 1975 National Golden Gloves and 1976 National AAU champion. As a professional, he was the WBA Super Bantamweight champion with a 17-2 (9) record.
At Light Flyweight was Louis Curtis, who didn’t medal. As a professional, he was 15-7-1 (6) and the USBA Flyweight champion.
That was seven medals, of which were five Gold, one Silver, and one Bronze for the 1976 USA Olympic Boxing team considered by many to be the greatest Olympic team.
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