View Full Version : 1968 Olympians, Al Robinson and Antonio Roldan


Virgil Caine
10-14-2011, 10:39 AM
I noticed this strange case involving these two men while browsing medalists of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics (in order to see who did what as a pro).

Roldan, a Mexican defeated (in Mexico) Robinson controversially by DQ in the featherweight finals, in a fight which Robinson was reportedly dominating, before being disqualified after 2 warnings.

They did both turn pro in 1969, with Roldan going 3-2-1, and Robinson faring somewhat better, going 11-2 (though he was stopped both times, once by a guy who was 2-5-1, and then a second time by a guy who was 37-40-3). Robinson last fought on 1970-10-28. Thereafter, to quote boxrec:

On April 30, 1971, Robinson lapsed into a coma, after complaining that he was feeling ill after a workout at the New Oakland Boxing Club.[1] Robinson never came out of the coma, and died on January 24, 1974.

It seems he was kept alive in a vegetative state for over 2 and a half years, dying on 1974.1.24.

Roldan on the other hand won his first 3, before being matched up tough, and then going 0-2-1, with the last fight being a second round stoppage loss to then 28-4-1, future world title challenger Armando Muniz. As it war, his career seems not to have recovered from his first misstep, a draw against then 25-9-3 Jose Angel Zamora. He didn't fight for more than 2 years after this, and his last 2 fights (e.g. his 2 defeats) both were at welterweight (whereas he had previously been a featherweight).

Antonio Roldan died on January 24, 1974. The same day as Al Robinson.

His cause of death is not clear, as it isn't recorded in boxrec or Wikipedia (in English nor Spanish).

Just an interesting story I happened to stumble upon, by accident. Two fighters who shared an apparently ill-fated Olympic finals match, with Robinson possibly being disqualified to allow the hometown guy to win (I don't know if this was the case, just going off the notes I read, and I said "possibly"). They both die on the exact same day, some 5 and a half years later.

RubenSonny
10-14-2011, 01:33 PM
Well that's bizarre, green k sent.

JAB5239
10-14-2011, 05:08 PM
That is pretty odd. Thanks for sharing it.

Virgil Caine
10-15-2011, 04:34 AM
I'm interested in figuring out more about this. The narrative I devised is drawn primarily from Wikipedia and boxrec, and not really that sound. I'm not really comfortable with my conclusion that the fight was controversial, as the only basis for that is Wikipedia, but it is tough to find information. Also, whereas boxrec lists Roldan's date of death as 1974-01-24, Wikipedia lists it as 1974-01-27 (3 days later).

I did find this Spanish language piece about Antonio Roldan's Olympic experience. He talks about the finals fight, and he says that he was being headbutted, and was cut badly by the fouls. He says he was ready to keep fighting, but the officials called the fight. He says that he didn't want to win that way, but seems to intimate that a win is a win, more or less. He also reveals the interesting "boxing theory" that black fighters don't take body shots well, and so he went in looking to work the body.

Here is the article, google translated (it is a rough translation, but it's understandable).
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eluniversal.com.mx%2Fgraficos%2 Fbeijing_v2%2Fmex_68_antonioroldan.html&act=url

Or the Spanish original,
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/graficos/beijing_v2/mex_68_antonioroldan.html

kendom
10-15-2011, 11:11 AM
I'm interested in figuring out more about this. The narrative I devised is drawn primarily from Wikipedia and boxrec, and not really that sound. I'm not really comfortable with my conclusion that the fight was controversial, as the only basis for that is Wikipedia, but it is tough to find information. Also, whereas boxrec lists Roldan's date of death as 1974-01-24, Wikipedia lists it as 1974-01-27 (3 days later).

I did find this Spanish language piece about Antonio Roldan's Olympic experience. He talks about the finals fight, and he says that he was being headbutted, and was cut badly by the fouls. He says he was ready to keep fighting, but the officials called the fight. He says that he didn't want to win that way, but seems to intimate that a win is a win, more or less. He also reveals the interesting "boxing theory" that black fighters don't take body shots well, and so he went in looking to work the body.

Here is the article, google translated (it is a rough translation, but it's understandable).
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eluniversal.com.mx%2Fgraficos%2 Fbeijing_v2%2Fmex_68_antonioroldan.html&act=url

Or the Spanish original,
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/graficos/beijing_v2/mex_68_antonioroldan.html

Well Ali just blows that ridiculous nonsense out of the water

Virgil Caine
10-16-2011, 02:16 AM
Well Ali just blows that ridiculous nonsense out of the water

I know, it was just an interesting quip from the past. A Mexican said this in a Spanish publication in 1968. You know how boxing superstitions go. I wasn't trying to suggest it was anything more than that.