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Summer Olympics History: American Greats in Men's Boxing

Top Ten Men Since 1948

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The U.S. in Men's Boxing at the Olympics

The U.S. maintains a significant lead in the overall boxing medal table with 49 golds, among its 110 total medals. Cuba trails in second place with a tally of 34 golds and 67 medals in all.

However, the U.S. has become an also-ran in the sport at the last several Olympics. The most recent men's boxing gold was in 2004, and American men failed to win a medal of any type at last summer's London Games.

Still, the U.S. has a rich history in Olympic boxing, providing ample examples for a top ten list in the sport. The following names are those men that I consider the best for the U.S. after World War II:

Cassius Clay: Clay, known as Muhammad Ali from 1964, won the Light Heavyweight title at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Clay stopped his first opponent in the second round, and then was victorious in his remaining three bouts by perfect 5-0 scores for the gold.

Oscar De La Hoya: De La Hoya captured the Lightweight gold at the Barcelona Games in 1992. He defeated Germany's Marco Rudolph in the final.

George Foreman: Foreman was one of two boxing gold medalists for the U.S. at the Mexico City Games in 1968. Foreman dominated his four opponents, including a TKO victory in the Heavyweight final over Ionas Chepulis of the Soviet Union.

Joe Frazier: Frazier won the Heavyweight gold for the U.S. at the Tokyo Games in 1964. He earned his first three victories by stoppage, and then took the final 3-2 over Hans Huber of Germany.

Ray Leonard: Leonard was undoubtedly one of the biggest stars for the U.S. at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Leonard used his superior hand speed and agility to defeat all of his opponents by 5-0 scores.

Floyd Patterson: Patterson earned one of the five boxing golds the U.S. won at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. He defeated Vasile Tita of Romania by a first-round KO in the Middleweight final.

Ed Sanders: Sanders won the Heavyweight division at the 1952 Olympics by defeating future world champion Ingemar Johansson of Sweden. By virtue of his title at the Helsinki Games, Sanders became the first African-American to win the Olympic Heavyweight gold.

Leon Spinks: Spinks won the Light Heavyweight gold at the 1976 Olympics by defeating Cuban favorite Sixto Soria in the title bout.

Michael Spinks: Michael joined brother Leon in winning boxing gold at the Montreal Games. His title-bout victory was over Rufat Riskiyev of the Soviet Union.

Pernell Whitaker: The Lightweight champion at the 1984 Olympics, Whitaker dominated all of his foes and took the gold with a win over Puerto Rico's Luis Ortiz in the final.

Related content: London Olympics Disappointments: Five Sports the U.S. Needs to Improve at for 2016

Patrick Hattman covered the London Games for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is already looking forward to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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