Ali's 1960 Games opponent dies

Muhammad Ali (AFP)
Muhammad Ali (AFP)

Cape Town - The man who lost to Cassius Clay in the final of the light-heavyweight division at the 1960 Olympic Games has died.

Zbigniew Pietrzykowski fought in three Olympic Games tournaments, won four European championships gold medals and a bronze, and was Polish champion eleven times.

Records show that he won 334 of his 350 amateur fights. He lost 14 and drew twice. In 44 bouts representing Poland he lost only twice.

He was 79 when he died in Birlsko-Biala, Poland, recently.

After losing to Clay - later known as Muhammad Ali, who became the professional world heavyweight champion - in the Rome Olympics, Pietrzykowski won a bronze medal in Tokyo in 1964 when he lost to a Russian, Aleksei Kiselyov.

From 1950 to 1968, Pietrzykowski competed at light-middleweight, middleweight and light-heavyweight, establishing himself as one of the most celebrated amateurs in boxing history.

After retiring he trained fighters from several amateur clubs. He later turned to politics and served as a member of the Polish parliament.

Another former boxer, Brian Jones, died recently. He fought at lightweight in the English Midlands from 1957 to 1963, winning 36 of his 58 fights. He was also good amateur and once beat Dick McTaggart who won a gold medal at the 1958 Olympics.

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