|Teofilio Stevenson and Mohammad Ali in Cuba|
“What’s a million dollars compared to the love of eight million Cubans?”
I was always fascinated by the fact that I hated boxing but loved to watch Teofilio, although the opportunity was rare. U.S. boxing promoters tried in the late 1970s to tempt Stevenson to fight then world champion Ali for $5 million in what they said would be the “fight of the century” but it never happened as he rejected the offer. He always said he would have loved to box with his friend but would always say, “I wouldn’t exchange a piece of Cuban soil for all the money they could give me”.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba paid its respects on Tuesday to the late boxer Teofilo Stevenson, one of the greatest Olympians of all time who turned down the chance to fight Muhammad Ali at the height of both fighters powers.