Savón (right) in 1987
|Real name||Félix Savón Fabre|
|Nickname(s)||Niñote ("Big Kid")|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Reach||82 in (208 cm)|
|Born||September 22, 1967|
San Vicente, Cuba
Félix Savón Fabre (born September 22, 1967) is a Cuban former amateur boxer. Considered one of the all-time greatest amateur boxers, he won three gold medals at the Olympic Games and six at the World Championships, all in the heavyweight division. Savón is particularly known for having rejected numerous multimillion-dollar offers to leave Cuba and fight Mike Tyson as a professional.
Early life and career
Born in San Vicente, in the Guantánamo Province, Savón began his boxing career in 1980. During his career, in which he did not turn professional, he managed a career record of 362-21, with all of his losses avenged.
He won his first important titles in 1985. At 19 he beat America's Michael Bentt on his way to win the 1987 Pan Am games. Besides winning the Cuban heavyweight title (which he would win each year until his retirement, except 1999 and 2000 when he lost to Odlanier Solís, who he would lose to twice and defeat once in their three meetings), he also won the Junior World Championships in 1985.
This set off his career, in which he would win six World Championships; his victory at the 1997 tournament was the result of the disqualification of an opponent, future professional world champion Ruslan Chagaev (whom Savón had previously beaten), who beat Savón in the final, but was later stripped of the gold medal for having two professional fights prior to the championships. Chagaev was reinstated as an amateur the following year when these fights were declared exhibitions, but did not regain the gold medal.
In 1998 during the Heavyweight final of the Goodwill Games from New York, Savón had an amazing knockout over U.S. Amateur Champion DaVarryl Williamson. At the 1999 tournament, he was to fight American Michael Bennett in the final, but the whole Cuban team retired from the competition to protest the result of another Cuban boxer in the tournament whom they considered had been "robbed" by the judges, meaning that Bennett won the final on default. In their bout at the 2000 Summer Olympics Bennett would lose 23–8 to Savón.
In February of the following year with Fidel Castro also present, Savón had the song "You Love Us" dedicated to him by the Manic Street Preachers, who became the first western rock band to play in Cuba.
Amateur career highlights
- Defeated Krzysztof Rojek (Poland) RSC 2
- Defeated Bert Teuchert (Germany) 11–2
- Defeated Danell Nicholson (United States) 13–11
- Defeated Arnold Vanderlyde (Netherlands) 23–3
- Defeated David Izonritei (Nigeria) 14–1
- Defeated Andrey Kurnyavka (Kyrgyzstan) 9–3
- Defeated Kwamena Turkson (Sweden) RSC 1
- Defeated Georgi Kandelaki (Georgia) 20–4
- Defeated Luan Krasniqi (Germany)
- Defeated David Defiagbon (Canada) 20–2
- Defeated Ojemaye Rasmus (Nigeria) 18–3
- Defeated Michael Bennett (United States) 23–8
- Defeated Sebastian Köber (Germany) 19–8
- Defeated Sultan Ibragimov (Russia) 21–13
Pan American Games
- Defeated Julio Sanchez (Puerto Rico) RSC 1
- Defeated Michael Bentt (United States) 5:0
- Defeated Juan Antonio Díaz (Argentina) KO 2
- Defeated Angus Lewis (US Virgin Islands) KO 1
- Defeated Santiago Palavecino (Argentina) RSCH 1
- Defeated Lamon Brewster (United States) AB 2
- "Olympic Bio: Felix Savón". cnnsi.com. Sports Illustrated. April 7, 2000. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "Savon makes boxing history". BBC News. 30 September 2000. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- Butler, Brin-Jonathan (2014). A Cuban Boxer's Journey: Guillermo Rigondeaux, from Castro's Traitor to American Champion. Picador.[page needed]
- "Felix Savon - Olympics Athletes - 2008 Summer Olympics - Beijing, China". Sports.espn.go.com. ESPN. 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "Felix Savon Amateur Boxing Record". Boxing-Scoop.com. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- Moran, Malcolm (21 August 1987). "Savon of Cuba Dominates Bent". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- Janofsky, Michael (3 August 1990). "A Punching Patriot From Cuba". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "Sorry". Indianexpress.com. Retrieved 2012-12-21.[permanent dead link]
- Padgett, Tim (11 September 2000). "Felix Savon". TIME. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved 2016-11-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)[dead link]
- "PLUS: BOXING - WORLD AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS; Cubans Withdraw In Angry Protest". Associated Press. 27 August 1999. Retrieved 2012-12-21 – via Nytimes.com.
- Pennington, Bill (26 September 2000). "Sydney 2000: Boxing: Savon Is Easy Winner Over Benett". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "Felix Savon". CNN.com. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "PLUS: BOXING; Cuban Champion To Become a Coach". Reuters. 7 January 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-21 – via Nytimes.com.