Odds of Each Olympic Boxer's Title Chances in the Prize Ring

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Odds of Each Olympic Boxer's Title Chances in the Prize Ring
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The 2012 London Games can only be viewed as a disappointment for American boxing fans. For the first time ever, excluding the boycott year of 1980, not a single male boxer from the United States won a medal. 

For fans who cut their teeth on the legendary 1976 or 1984 squads, it's all a little bit surreal. We're used to seeing our best young fighters go to the Olympics and win glory.

Of course, for people who follow the sport, it's no secret that Olympic gold isn't even on the radar anymore for a lot of top prospects. Scoring changes adopted after the 1988 games have transformed the amateur version of the sport over the last generation.

Top international tournaments like the Olympics are no longer viewed as a kind of ultimate proving ground for aspiring professional stars; instead they are seen as a distraction. 

In the August edition of The Ring, 1992 gold medalist Oscar De La Hoya was unequivocal: "Now, I would have gone pro, because of that system. Yes, I'd have definitely gone pro." 

Still, for a young fighter looking to go pro, an Olympic pedigree is never going to be a disadvantage. For promoters looking to sell tickets and garner press notice, putting a former Olympian on the card is always going to have some value. 

This squad may be the least successful of all time, but the pro game is an entirely different matter. It will be a fresh start for any who want it, and at least a few of them look to me like they could make some noise in the professional ring. 

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