dimanche 13 juin 2010

1988 : Olympic Games in Seoul and Boycott

Introduction :

The 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and their boycott by Cuba will be the final article about a special event, in this blog.

This boycott was a sign of solidarity with North Korea, still at war against South Korea, which was organizing these Games, in Seoul.

Only the following countries participated in the boycott : Cuba, Albania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nicaragua and the Seychelles. Other countries of the East Block have participated in the OG. We did not find traces of alternative games, organized by the boycotting countries.

Before the Olympic Games :

1987 :

During the Giraldo Cordova Cardin 20th Tournament, super heavyweight Jorge Luis Gonzalez beats Isaac Barrientos/Puerto Rico, in the finals.


Stamps for the 1987 Pan Am Games

In the 10th Pan American Games, in Indianapolis/USA, for the semifinals, Michael Carbajal/USA beats Juan Torres Odelin, on points 5-0 (-48 kg).

In -81 kg, Pablo Romero beats Andrew Maynard/USA, by RSCI 2. In the +91 kg, Jorge Luis Gonzalez beats Riddick Bowe/USA, on point 3-2.


Jorge Luis Gonzalez in left facing Lennox Lewis

In the finals, Cuba wins 10 gold medals. Felix Savon beats Juan Antonio Diaz by KO in the second. Jorge Luis Gonzalez beats Lennox Lewis/Canada, on points 4-1. The video of the fight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1wg8BCgDmE and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCap3m4hnE8&feature=related

At the North American Championships, in Toronto, in the finals, Cuba wins 10 gold medals. In -91 kg, Felix Savon beats Michael Bentt/USA on points 3-0 and Lennox Lewis/Canada beats Jorge Luis Gonzalez on points 3-2. Video of the fight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgPnolc_kkw&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26TQb6Yq2Es&feature=related


Felix Savon, on the left, opposite Michael Bentt

At the 5th World Cup in Belgrade, Cuba wins five gold and one silver medal. Felix Savon beats Arnold Vanderlyde/Netherlands, on points 4-1.

For the 18th Central American and Caribbean Championships, in Costa Rica, with a B team, Cuba wins nine gold and two silver medals.

During the duel Cuba-USA, in Cuba, the island wins eleven fights for a single defeat, against a USA B team. Michael Carbajal/USA beats Juan Torres Odelin, on points 3-2.

1988 :

During the USA-Cuba duel, in Atlantic City, Cuba wins 10 fights for two defeats.

In -48 kg, Rogelio Marcello beats Michael Carbajal/USA, on points. In -54 kg, Manuel Martinez beats Kennedy McKinney/USA, on points. In -91 kg, Felix Savon beats Ray Mercer/USA, on points.

The Olympics Games :

During the Olympics, in Seoul, Cuba boycotted the event.


The mascot of the boxing tournament in Seoul

Here are the most important results of these Games :

Michael Carbajal/USA loses in the finals, -48 kg.
Kennedy McKinney/USA, wins the finals, -54 kg.
Roy Jones/USA loses in the finals, -71 kg.
Ray Mercer/USA wins the finals, - 91 kg
Lennox Lewis/Canada wins the finals, +91 kg, against Riddick Bowe/USA.

Comparisons :

We repeat, it's impossible to determine who would have been the winner at the Olmpics, if Cuba had been there.

By comparing the 1987 and 1988 results, during the match against Cuba, we find that :

Michael Carbajal/USA has won and lost against his Cuban opponents.
Kennedy McKinney/USA loses in 1988 against Manuel Martinez.
We do not know a Cuban opponent for Roy Jones.
Ray Mercer/USA loses to Felix Savon in 1988.
Lennox Lewis/Canada wins and loses to Jose Luis Gonzalez, in 1987.

After the Olympic Games :

During the 19th Central American and Caribbean Championships, in Guatemala City, Cuba wins all the gold medals.

Where are they now :

Felix Savon will have a separate article in this blog.

Jorge Luis Gonzalez defects Cuba in April 1991, in Tampere/Finland, during a second-class tournament. Note that Roberto Ballado represented Cuba at the 1989 World Championships in Moscow. Gonzalez will become a pro fighter in the USA and will lose against Riddick Bowe for the heavyweight title, by ko in the 6th.

Conclusions :

The boycott of the 1988 OG is the latest in a series that began in 1980, with the USA boycott, and with the 1984 boycott from the East Block countries and Cuba. Since 1992, the opposition between these two countries can resume.

Felix Savon's stamps

Note that Teofilo Stevenson finally retired in 1987. Felix Savon, meanwhile, began his international career in 1986. It is therefore a milestone in the history of heavy and superheavyweight Cubans.

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