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Cuban Boxing legend visits SVG, father’s land of birth

Cuban Boxing legend visits  SVG, father’s land of birth


St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) welcomed home one of our own on Wednesday April 15th. Cuban Boxing legend Teofilo Stevenson arrived from that Spanish speaking country along with the Cuban cricket team which was making an historic tour to this country.{{more}}

Stevenson was born in Cuba on March 29, 1952, but his father Theophelus Harold Stevenson, who hailed from Biabou on the Windward side of SVG, migrated to Cuba in 1929 to work in the sugar industry.

Stevenson is a three-time Olympic heavyweight boxing gold medal winner and also won three gold medals in the World Amateur Boxing Championships, two in the heavyweight division and one in the super heavyweight division, along with a bronze and two gold medals in the Pan American games.

When American fight promoters offered Stevenson $5 million to fight Muhammad Ali, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance, he turned down the offer, asking “What is one million dollars compared to the love of eight million Cubans?”

During his career, Stevenson won 302 fights and only lost 22. On his retirement, he was made coach of the Cuban amateur boxing programme. Fidel Castro also gave him a mansion in an exclusive neighbourhood.

At a media conference last Wednesday, Stevenson thanked the Government and people of SVG for making his trip possible. He also had high praises for former Cuban President Fidel Castro and lauded the Cuban educational system quoting Jose Marti: “The only way to be free is to be cultured”.

Stevenson said that his father had five children in Cuba and was an English teacher who taught the language to diplomats. He said his father also taught him a lot about Fidel Castro and Biabou.

While here, Stevenson met some of his relatives who live in the United Kingdom. He also visited many schools throughout the country.

Stevenson also said that when he visited St Vincent 20 years ago, someone in Biabou told him that his father also played cricket and was so strong, that once he hit a ball that was more than a six, because the ball went over a mountain and ended up in the river. He said that he was going to take the Cuban cricket team to show them where his father hit that ball.