Authors:Robert G. Rodriguez, Mark R. Joslyn, Emily Gruver
Robert G. Rodriguez, Ph. D.
Associate Professor, Political Science
Texas A&M University-Commerce
P.O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX 75429
Robert G. Rodriguez is an associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Mark R. Joslyn is a professor of political science and graduate director at University of Kansas.
Emily Gruver is an Honors Student at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
From Gold to Glory: An Analysis of U.S. Olympic Boxers in the Professional Ranks
The uncertain connections between Olympic and professional success in boxing lead us to question just how significant Olympic medals are in determining whether an Olympian will win a professional world title. We analyzed all U.S. male boxers that competed through the 2012 Olympic Games, with the exceptions of 1980 and 1904. We then developed a multivariate logistic model determining the probability of Olympians winning professional championships; a comparison of the probability of winning a professional world title between those who won a medal versus those that did not and differences among medal winners. Further, we examined the time it took for medalists/non-medalists to win professional world championships. Our results demonstrate that American Olympic boxing medalists are significantly more likely to win a professional world championship than those who participated in the games but did not win a medal. A gold medal effects the probability of winning a world championship the most among medal winners, slightly more so than silver medalists, while bronze medalists cannot be distinguished from non-medalists in the likelihood of achieving a pro title. In terms of time to winning a professional title, American Olympic medalists are three times more likely to win professional world titles than non-medalists, and they take significantly less time to do so.
Keywords: Olympic Boxing, Professional World Boxing Championships, USA Boxing Team
A commonly held belief is that boxers who are successful in the Olympic Games will go on to win professional world titles. After all, some of the greatest practitioners of the sport, such as George Foreman and Oscar De La Hoya won Olympic gold before becoming legendary world champions. In the popular media, Olympic glory continues to be presented as a fast-track to professional success. For example, a recent New York Times article stated, “For decades, the Olympics were a steppingstone to a professional career. Introduced in 1904, Olympic boxing turned gold medal winners like Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay), Joe Frazier and Sugar Ray Leonard into household names.” (1)
More recently, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones, Jr., and Evander Holyfield, all of whom made it to the Olympic pedestal -but did not win gold medals- have also gone on to enormous success as professionals. The Bleacher Report, a popular sports webpage, observed the virtues of converting an Olympic medal into a world title belt. “On today’s scene, world titleholders James DeGale, Vasyl Lomachenko, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Anthony Joshua all won Olympic gold, as did pound-for-pound contender Andre Ward. Olympic boxing might not enjoy the same status it did a generation ago, particularly when it comes to ratings. But for serious fans of the sport, it can’t be ignored. It’s a great opportunity to get a first look at a future world champ.” (2)
On the other hand, there are also examples of Olympians who did not win medals of any color that went on to win pro titles, such as current IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence, Jr. and WBO junior middleweight champ Sadam Ali. Furthermore, there are many Olympic gold medalists who never hoisted a professional title belt, including 1980’s era heavyweights Henry Tillman and Tyrell Biggs. This perspective is pointed out in an ESPN.com article from 2008: “As disappointing as it has been for the U.S. boxers who failed to reach the medal round in Beijing, it is by no means the end of the world — especially for those who are intent on pursuing professional careers. Many professional champions didn’t win a medal in the Olympics. Their opponents — the ones who enjoyed the elation of victory — have in many cases slipped into obscurity.” (3)
A sports analytics organization known as The Stats Zone, recently attempted to determine whether winning Olympic gold is a precursor to a professional world title. They concluded that winning gold is not a foundation for professional success. (4) They only provide one statistic to substantiate their argument, however, indicating that out of 219 boxers from all nationalities who won gold medals from 1904 through 2012, only 41 went on to become professional world champions, a 18.72% success rate. (4)
This research is problematic for multiple reasons. It does not take into account the fact that only the United States fielded a boxing team in 1904 (and some boxers competed in more than one weight class), only six nations (England, Wales, Scotland, Denmark, France and Australia) competed in 1908, boxing was banned by Sweden and thus not held in 1912, nor does it factor in the effect of Olympic boycotts by historical boxing powerhouses (U.S. in 1980, U.S.S.R., Cuba and 14 Eastern Bloc countries in 1984, and Cuba in 1988). Likewise, the author does not consider the fact that most boxers from Communist states were prohibited from becoming professionals until the 1990s, and in the case of Cuba, must defect in order to box as professionals to this day. In addition, the author presents a chart that compares a list of gold medalists with another list that combines those who won silver, bronze or no medal, without distinguishing among them. Finally, the selection of gold medalists who went on to win pro titles detailed in the author’s research appears selective and incomplete. The comparison group of silver, bronze or no medal winners exhibits similar limitations
The aforementioned examples of various outcomes in the professional ranks for those who had previously boxed in the Olympic Games lead us to question the significance of Olympic medals in determining the probability of an Olympian going on to win a professional world title.
This study examines male Olympic boxers representing the United States. The United States has fielded a boxing team in every Olympic boxing tournament held since 1904 (with the exception of the 1908 London games, where the U.S. did not participate in boxing, and the 1980 political boycott), American boxers have never been prohibited from turning professional, and they have enjoyed significant success in the Olympics as well as the professional ranks. Thus, we have a sufficient number of cases for the study.
The dynamics of women’s Olympic and professional boxing are significantly different than those for men. (5) For example, historian Gerald Gems points out, “Despite winning a gold medal as a seventeen-year-old at the 2012 Olympic Games, Claressa Shields got little publicity and no endorsement deals.” (6) In addition, women’s boxing has only been an Olympic medal sport since 2012 (though it should be noted that the 1904 Olympics featured a women’s boxing exhibition). Thus, our analyses only focus on male boxers.
Our data collection begins with the first Olympiad that held a men’s boxing competition, and ends with the 2012 Olympics, as it typically takes a substantial amount of time for a boxer to adapt from amateur boxing to the professional sport, and we did not consider enough time passed since the 2016 Olympiad to include it. Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach explains some of the challenges amateur boxers face as they become professionals: “…in the amateurs it’s a whole different sport. So when you turn pro it’s almost like you have to forget everything you’ve learned as an amateur in order to change into a pro style and it is very difficult to get someone to change.” (7)
Given the physical toll on a boxer’s body, it also takes time to amass enough victories over contenders to be in position to fight in a world championship match. There are notable exceptions to this, such as 1956 gold medalist Pete Rademacher who challenged world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson for the title in his professional debut, or more recently 2008 & 2012 Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine, who fought for a world title in his second professional fight. (Incidentally, both lost in their initial cracks at a world title, though Lomachenko went on to become a world champion in his subsequent fight.)
Therefore, we collected the following measures for all U.S. male boxers who competed at the Olympic Games that held boxing competitions through 2012, with the exceptions of 1904 (when only Americans participated in boxing), 1908 (when the U.S. did not send a team), and 1980 (when the U.S. team was prohibited from competing for political reasons): Olympic weight category(ies) and year(s) competed, medal/no medal and type (gold, silver or bronze), professional world title, weight, and year won first world title/no world title.
Frequency of U.S. Olympians winning professional world championships
The names and performance of American Olympians that competed in boxing for each Olympiad is readily available on multiple internet sites. Boxrec.com was accessed to determine the professional records and any world titles won for those who went on to become professional boxers.
Probability of Olympians (medalists and non-medalists) winning professional championships
The statistical model we use to determine the probability of winning professional world championships examines the data in three ways: overall probability, pre-1960 and 1960-onwards. Our rationale for examining the data this way is due to the inconsistency in the pre-1960 Olympic Games. For example, while nearly 90% of U.S. Olympic boxers from 1960 onward turned pro, only 2/3 of pre-1960 Olympians became professionals. Also, on several occasions pre-1960, the Olympics were cancelled due to world wars (1916, 1940 and 1944), boxing was excluded from the 1912 Games due to its illegality in Sweden at the time, and the United States chose not to participate in boxing at the 1908 London games for reasons that are entirely unclear. As mentioned previously, only Americans competed in the Olympics in 1904, and furthermore, several Americans competed in the same weight category as other Americans in 1920 and 1924.
In addition to the inconsistencies noted for pre-1960 data, professional boxing underwent significant changes that affected the professional careers of Olympians from 1960 to the present. The four major world sanctioning bodies that currently rank professional boxers and award world championships did not exist until 1962 with the establishment of the World Boxing Association (WBA). (8) The World Boxing Council (WBC) would follow in 1963, the International Boxing Federation in 1983, and the World Boxing Organization in 1988. The proliferation of world titles coupled with the dramatic increase in the number of weight classes from the traditional eight to the current seventeen, means there have been far more opportunities for Olympians from 1960 to the present to win world championships then was previously the case.
Only 8% of pre-1960 American Olympic boxers won world titles in the professional ranks, while about 31% of all U.S. Olympians from 1960 onward have done the same. In sum, given the inconsistencies in the Olympic Games, the emergence of world sanctioning organizations and the expansion of weight divisions, we consider it prudent to examine the cases overall, as well as statistically controlling for differences before/after the 1960 games.
Comparison of the probability of winning a professional world title between those who won a medal and those that did not and the relative effect of a gold medal vs those who won silver or bronze
As noted in the introduction, there is not widespread consensus on whether winning an Olympic gold medal will lead to professional success. There is even less consensus on whether winning a medal of any type will have any impact on winning a world title. Is there any difference in the likelihood of someone who wins Olympic silver or bronze on becoming a world champ? What about differences between those who won a medal and those who did not? In order to answer these questions, we conducted logistic analyses to determine if there is a difference between the influence of gold, silver and bronze medalists on the likelihood of winning a professional title. We also examine the difference in probability between medalists and non-medalists.
Comparison of the time it took for medalists/non-medalists to win professional world championships
One of the potential benefits of competing in the Olympic Games is the possibility of becoming a professional world champion more quickly than those who do not. The media exposure generated for Olympic boxers, who are among the relatively few athletes that can continue to compete in their respective sports as paid professional athletes, can be a tremendous economic benefit. Olympic competitors draw attention from promoters, managers, trainers, television networks, and fans alike. In addition to their purses for fighting professionally (which tend to be significantly higher when fights are televised), they may also be enticed by hefty signing bonuses. While most young professional boxers are often exploited by manager and promoters while toiling their trade in small venues, former Olympians often find themselves on the fast-track to lucrative fights through skillful management and access to quality trainers and facilities.
At least as far back as the 1960 Olympics, boxers recognized they would have a unique post-Olympic economic advantage among their fellow Olympians. Upon winning the gold at the Olympic Games in Rome, a young Cassius Clay, AKA Muhammad Ali, declared, “That was my last amateur fight. I’m turning pro, but I don’t know exactly how. I want a good contract.” (9) In contrast, the highly acclaimed two-time Olympic medalist and U.S. decathlete Rafer Johnson, who had carried the American flag in the opening ceremonies of the 1960 Rome games recalled, “…at that moment, I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do next.” (9)
The case of Evander Holyfield, who was a part of the highly successful 1984 Olympic boxing team (all but one of the twelve-member team won a medal; including nine gold) is demonstrative how even earning a bronze medal (through a highly controversial disqualification) can lead to recognition and riches. In his official biography, Holyfield describes meeting with President Reagan, participating in a multiple city parades, and receiving fan mail from around the world: “Suddenly, every promoter in the country wanted to represent [Holyfield]. He was ‘hot property’ now, his name recognition was high, and offers started coming in from all over. A couple of months ago, Evander needed a sponsor to purchase a used car. Now, he was being offered enough money to buy a comfortable house…The 1984 Olympic boxing team was broad enough to attract a lot of attention from various professional management and promotion organizations…Main Events offered Evander $250,000 to sign and promised him another $2 million within four years.” (10) Holyfield won his first of many world championships in his twelfth professional bout, just two years after the Olympics.
An example of what can happen to talented amateur fighters who do not make the Olympics and subsequently have to struggle in the professional ranks without the benefits of media exposure, sound management, and promotion is the case of Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor. By the time he competed in the U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials in 1976, Pryor had compiled an astonishing 220-4 record according to U.S. Olympic boxing coach Rollie Schwartz. (11) Standing between Pryor and Montreal, however, was highly acclaimed Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and amateur World Champion Howard Davis, Jr.
In his autobiography, Pryor claims that politics were to blame for Davis getting the nod in two box-off fights that would determine U.S. representative in their weight category. (11) Pryor writes, “Howard Davis was true red, white and blue and hailed from a good family. Aaron Pryor was a symbol of everything that was wrong with Black America. If you were on the Olympic Committee, which athlete would you have picked to represent our country?” (11) Regardless, it was Davis who would go on to win gold and be awarded the Val Barker Trophy for being the most outstanding boxer of the Olympic Games by the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA). What is certain is that as professionals, Pryor had far more obstacles on his way to a world title than Davis, who would fight for -but never win- a professional championship.
Pryor explains the stark differences between his and Davis’ paths in the pro ranks in his autobiography. Not only did he suffer the indignity of becoming one of Davis’ sparring partners, he lamented his $200 per bout salary in comparison to Davis, whom Pryor claims was being paid $250,000 per fight: “In boxing, a fighter needs to have a good team behind him to support. That includes a good promoter, who’ll match up the fighter with tough opponents. A manager, who’ll organize the boxer’s training camp, pay for expenses, and watch out for his financial interests. And of course, a trainer, one who’ll push that boxer to the limit…” (11) It would take Pryor four long years and several changes to his team before earning a title shot- and winning it in August, 1980.
These stories exemplify the effect an Olympic medal (or lack thereof) can have on a boxer’s career, and in this study, we examine whether there is a difference in the amount of time it takes for medalists, non-medalists and medalists of any type to win their first professional world title.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Our statistical analyses reveal several intriguing findings.
Frequency of U.S. Olympians winning professional world championships
American Olympic boxing medalists are significantly more likely to win a professional world championship than those who participated in the games but did not win a medal.
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics. Professional Title and Olympic Medal 1920-2012
|Professional Title||No Medal||Medal||TOTAL N|
Approximately 40% of American Olympic medal winners (without distinguishing between gold, silver or bronze) obtained professional world titles. This does not include the 1980 U.S. Olympic boxing team, in which five of the eleven team members won professional championships despite being prohibited from competing in Moscow, nor does it include the participants in the 1904 Olympics, where only Americans participated. Approximately 12% of Olympians that did not win medals would eventually win world titles in the pro ranks. Just under a quarter of all Olympic boxers (23.7%) won professional world titles, regardless of whether they won a medal in the Games. Thus the data suggest Olympic medals matter for professional success. We can however be more precise with additional statistical analyses.
Probability of Olympians (medalists and non-medalists) winning professional championships
In a multivariate logistic model displayed in Table 2, we included two independent variables. First, we represented medals as a simple dichotomy: medal winner = 1, 0 – no medals. Second, we characterized the aforementioned changes in professional boxing – the emergence of world sanctioning organizations and the expansion of weight divisions – to control for an expected increase in the number of possible titles won: 1 = Olympics 1960 onward, 0 – Olympics prior to 1960.
Both variables are statistically significant and correctly signed. For Olympians beginning in 1960, the likelihood of winning professional world titles increased significantly (b = 1.42, p < .00). This result confirms our expectations regarding the changes in pro-boxing in the early 1960s. More important, Olympic medal winners are more likely to achieve pro titles than non-medalists (b = 1.55, p < .00). The estimated effect is substantial.
Table 2. The Estimated Effects of Olympic Medals on the Probability of Winning a Professional Title.
|Independent Variables||Coefficient||Std. Error||z – stat|
|CHANGES IN PRO BOXING||1.42*||.430||3.32|
*p < .01.
Using the model estimates, the probability of an Olympic medalist from 1960 onward winning a professional world title is 0.50, while the likelihood of a non-medalist achieving the same feat during the same era is about 0.17 — see Table 3. The difference in probabilities demonstrates the power of an Olympic medal for professional boxing success. An Olympic medal increases the likelihood of winning a world title by approximately 0.33. For the earlier Olympics, 1920 through 1956, the chances of an Olympian winning a world title are notably slim, whether a medal winner (0.194 chance) or not (0.48). A medal in this era increased the chances of a world title by a mere .146 – less than half the chance a medal generated in the modern era.
Table 3. Estimated Probabilities Of World Title Success Derived From Logistic Model.
|TIME PERIOD||MEDAL TO WORLD TITLE||NO MEDAL TO WORLD TITLE|
|1920 TO 1956 OLYMPICS*||.194||.048|
|1960 TO 2012 OLYMPICS**||.500||.174|
*Excludes the 1904 Olympiad where only Americans competed; the U.S. did not send a team in 1908; boxing was not held in 1912; and the 1916, 1940 and 1944 Games were cancelled due to world wars.
**Excludes the 1980 U.S. boxing team that boycotted the Moscow Games
The impact on the probability of winning a professional title of gold, silver and bronze medals.
Next, we examine the relative effects of medal type on the likelihood of winning a professional title. The effect of each medal is estimated relative to no medal. The three measures are: 1 = gold medal winner, 0 – no medal; 1 = silver medal winner, 0 – no medal; 1 = bronze medal winner, 0 – no medal. Table 3 shows the logistic estimates for medal category.
Table 4. The Estimated Effects of Olympic Medal Type on Likelihood of Professional Title.
|Independent Variables||Coefficient||Std. Error||z – stat||dy/dx|
|CHANGES IN PRO BOXING||1.52*||.441||3.45||.207|
*p < .01. DY/DX represents change in likelihood of professional title as measure changes from 0 to 1.
Two findings are noteworthy. First, Olympic gold (b = 1.98, p < .00) and silver (b = 1.67, p < .00) medals are statistically significant factors toward achieving a pro boxing championship, relative to not winning a medal, though a bronze medal is not (b = .980, n.s.). So while our previous anslyses in Table 2. showed that an Olympic medal is better than no medal, it is gold and silver that largely drive professional success.
The column dy/dx reports the marginal changes in probability of winning a pro title as the independent variable changes from no-medal to gold, silver, or bronze. For example, winning a gold medal boosts the probability of achieving a professional title by nearly 0.40. A silver medal, 0.351. Consider the size of the increases in probabilities. Compared to the estimated increase in professional titles as a result of structural changes in professional boxing (0.207), the contributions of gold and silver medals are impressive. In this way, individual Olympic achievement matters more than structural changes in professional boxing that created greater opportunities for professional titles.
Comparison of the time it took for medalists/non-medalists to win professional world championships
Below is Figure 1 that represents the number of years after the Olympics that a boxer took to win his title. Among Olympians who went on to win professional world championships, 72% did so within 5 years, nearly 50% win their title in years 4 or 5. Another 20% take 7 years or longer.
Table 5 displays the average number of years to a professional title by medal category. Clearly, gold medal performances hasten the ascent to a world title. On average gold medalists take less than 3 years. Compare this to silver, bronze and no-medal Olympians. Finally, consider the standard deviations, which reflect variation in the number of years to a pro title. For example, bronze medalists exhibit the greatest variation, nearly 3 and a half years – with the average of 5 years. This means that some bronze medalists take approximately 8 years while others 2. The path toward a title can be comparatively slow or quick for a bronze medalist. Such variation is not evident among gold medalists. The progress to a title is rapid and comparatively uniform.
Table 5. Time to World Title by Medal Category.
|Olympic Performance||Average Years||Standard Deviation|
The overarching conclusion of this study is that American Olympic medalists -of any type- are about three times more likely to win professional world titles than non-medalist Olympians, and they take significantly less time to win their first pro championship. In other words, although there are examples to the contrary, the performance of American boxers in the Olympic Games is indeed a strong predictor of future professional world championship success, and those who win medals will likely have the opportunity to enjoy the material benefits that come with winning title belts much earlier than those who do not. Olympic gold is especially likely to lead to professional glory.
Moreover, American silver medalists have a statistically similar likelihood to go on to win professional world championships as their gold medal counterparts. Thus, Olympic silver medalists should not fret over the idea that if they do not win gold, their professional careers will be negatively impacted. In fact, they can look for inspiration from one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of the past 25 years: 1988 silver medalist Roy Jones, Jr.
Future research may consider comparing Olympian and non-Olympians’ prospects for professional titles. It could be that making the Olympic team, regardless of Olympic performance, markedly increases the chances of professional success. We selected an elite group of amateur boxers and then discovered important differences in professional trajectories based on various grades of Olympic success. Comparing this elite group with a larger cross-section of non-Olympic boxers that turned pro would offer a valuable and comprehensive analyses of Olympic and professional achievement.
In addition, future studies can apply our general design to Olympians from other countries to examine whether this is an example of American exceptionalism, or if similar dynamics exist across the globe. For example, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 opened the floodgates for highly decorated amateur Eastern European boxers to enter into the professional ranks and win a multitude of world championships. As historian Arne K. Lang points out, “During a brief period in 2006, the most valued heavyweight belts belonged to Wladimir Klitschko (Ukraine), Oleg Maskaev (Kazakhstan), Nikolay Valuev (Russia) and Sergei Liakhovich (Belarus).” (13) Klitschko was a gold medalist in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where Liakhovich competed but did not medal.
An examination of world title holders from any nationality in February 2018 reveals that 13 of 70 champions (18.5%) had participated in the Olympic Games. Of the 13 Olympians who are current professional world champions, 5 were gold medalists, 1 had won silver, 2 won bronze (both American), and 5 did not medal (two of whom are American). (12) Our study makes it clear that the Olympic Games have the power to alter the professional career paths of boxers, especially if they win a medal.
APPLICATIONS IN SPORT
Participation in the Olympic boxing competition is a tremendous achievement in itself. The qualification process has significantly changed over time, as have the rules. It is an extremely competitive sport, and participating in the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of amateur sport. Since boxing is one of the few Olympic sports that athletes can continue to compete in as professionals, the media exposure generated through participating in the Games can undoubtedly impact the trajectory of fighters’ careers. As our study demonstrates, winning any type of medal dramatically increases the likelihood of professional success, as measured by winning a world championship, and it increases the rapidity of winning such a title, which in turn, can impact lifetime earnings potential.
1. Belson, K. (2016). Pro Boxers at the Olympics: An Opportunity, or a Dangerous Power Grab? The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/16/sports/olympics/pro-boxers-at-the-olympics.html
2. Seekins, B. (2016). Olympic Boxing 2016: Boxers with Best Chance to Be Professional Stars. Bleacher Report. Retrieved from: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2655062-olympic-boxing-2016-boxers-with-best-chance-to-be-professional-stars
3. Houston, G. (2008). Professional champions who didn’t medal in the Olympics” ESPN. Retrieved from: http://www.espn.com/sports/boxing/news/story?id=3550753
4. TSZ (2016). Is Olympic Gold a Precursor to Becoming a Professional World Boxing Champion? The Stats Zone. Retrieved from: https://www.thestatszone.com/olympic-gold-professional-boxing-world-champion
5. The Guardian (2009). Olympics Opens Doors to Women’s Boxing. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/aug/13/olympics-women-boxing
6. Gems, G. (2014). Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science. Rowman & Littlefield. Lanham, MD. p. 243.
7. Silver, M. (2008). The Arc of Boxing: The RISE and DECLINE of the SWEET SCIENCE. McFarland. Jefferson, NC. p. 114-115.
8. WBA (2018). World Boxing Association History. Retrieved from: http://www.wbaboxing.com/wba-history/world-boxing-association-history#.WpR13ainHIU
9. Maraniss, D. (2008). Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World. Simon & Schuster. New York, NY. p. 283
10. Holyfield, E. & Holyfield, B. (1996). Holyfield: The Humble Warrior. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nashville, TN. p. 105-108.
11. Pryor, A. & Terrill, M. (1996). Flight of The Hawk: The Aaron Pryor Story. Book World, Inc. Sun Lakes, AZ. p. 39-43.
12. The Ring Magazine. (2018). Retrieved from: https://www.ringtv.com/ratings/?weightclass=251
13. Lang, Arne K.
(2008). Prizefighting: An American History. McFarland. Jefferson, NC. p. 245.
 If we repeat the statistical analyses but explicitly compare gold to bronze and silver to bronze – excluding Olympians that do not medal – we discovered that gold significantly increased the likelihood of a professional title (b = .98, p < .05) but silver does not (b = .67, n.s.). Thus, among Olympic boxing medalists, a gold medalist, predictably, possess the best shot at winning a professional title. We believe that a larger sample of Olympians would yield stronger results and show silver to be more important than a bronze in predicting pro titles.
 As of February 2018, The Ring Magazine’s top-ten pound-for-pound boxers include two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko (ranked #3), two-time gold medal winner Guillermo Rigondeaux (ranked #10), silver medalist Gennady Golovkin (ranked #1), and non-medalist Olympian Errol Spence, Jr. (ranked #9). (12) 3