1980sABCAmateur BoxingBantamweight BoxingBoxingChris SchenkelInterviewsTeam USA

Boxing – 1980 – USA Vs Cuba Amateur Boxing – Bantamwt Bout – USA Jackie Beard Vs Cuba Hector Lazaro

From 1904 to 2016, the United States and Cuba won the most gold medals….with 50 for the U.S. (114 overall) and 21 (73 overall) for Cuba….as it is important to note that American boxers usually compete at one Olympic tournament and then turn professional….whereas Cuban boxers are not permitted to turn pro by their government….so, they have an opportunity to collect multiple medals.

It was Olympic competition during The Golden Age of Boxing that brought about nationally televised amateur boxing events, typically on ABC Sports, that drove the popularity of produced competitions between the USA Boxing Team verses such amateur boxing teams from the Eastern Bloc Countries like Russia (URS), East Germany (GDR) and Cuba (CUB) ….whose teams were the most powerful outside the USA in the world at the time.

Jackie Beard was an amateur boxing standout in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s….when he won the National AAU in the bantamweight division three times in 1978, 1979, and 1980.  He also won the bantamweight championship in the 1978 National Golden Gloves Tournament….as Beard qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic boxing team….but thanks to the “lil peanut pickin” US President Jimmy Carter….who called for the U.S. boycott of the Moscow summer games….which prevented him from the international competition he had prepared for and dream of for many years…..as initially, Beard was supportive of the boycott….ut later expressed disappointment that athletes were denied the opportunity to showcase their talents….which are on display in this video seen herewith….where USA Jackie Beard takes on CUB Hector Lazaro in the bantamweight bout during this 1980 international amateur boxing competition.

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