12 Jun 2012

Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson dies

10:26 pm on 12 June 2012

One of the greatest amateur boxers in history, Teofilo Stevenson, has died in his native Cuba at the age of 60.

State media say he suffered a heart attack.

Stevenson won gold medals as a heavyweight in three consecutive Olympic Games - 1972, 1976 and 1980.

American boxing promoters offered him $US5 million to turn professional and fight Muhammad Ali but he declined, the BBC reports.

The boxer stayed loyal to the Cuban revolution, which outlawed professional sports.

The boxer - known in Cuba by the nickname "Pirolo" - missed a shot at a fourth Olympic gold when Cuba joined the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

He announced his retirement in 1988 after Cuba decided to skip the Seoul Olympics as well.

After retiring, Stevenson became a coach and served as vice president of the Cuban Boxing Federation.