5 boxers who didn't win gold at Olympics but went on to have a great pro career


#3 Antonio Esparragoza:

Antonio Esparragoza
Esparragoza defended his professional title 7 times in a row

Venezuela is not an Olympic heavyweight by any stretch of the imagination. And yet, one of their best bets for a podium finish in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Antonio Esparragoza, woefully underperformed and disappointed his country.

A bronze medal in the World Championships prior to the 1980 Olympics saw Esparragoza touted as a medal hopeful in the featherweight division.

It was not to be, however, as Esparragoza was knocked out in the first round by Great Britain’s Peter Hanlon. An overwhelming 4-1 defeat, compounded by two public warnings for ducking too low to avoid punches, saw the Venezuelan boxer’s hopes dashed.

Esparragoza picked himself up appreciably from this setback and went on to win the WBA title in the 126-pound category as a professional. He put up a staunch defence of his title, retaining it seven times before eventually losing it in a bout in South Korea.

Edited by Staff Editor
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