Alberto Santiago Lovell, Afro-Argentine Wins Olympic Gold! #BlackHistoryIsGlobal

grafico-1142-alberto-lovell-4667-MLA3792574252_022013-FToday’s La Vida En Black History Month message is about an Olympic athlete.  He hailed from Argentina.  And came from a great boxing family Alberto Santiago Lovell (1912–1966)  won the Gold Medal in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.  Just 20 years old, Lovell fought in the heavyweight category at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Lovell was a relentless boxer.  During the games he quickly eliminated a Finnish boxer, Gunnar Barlund in the first round.  Then he went on in the semifinals to TKO a Canadian contender, George Maughan.  The Afro-Argentine was particularly powerful and his performance earned him the gold medal; making Lovell the first black Olympic heavyweight champion. Although Lovell should have received a hero’s welcome to Buenos Aires, it  did not happen.  On the boat ride home, an argument about the quality of the ship’s food led to Lovell punching one of the ship’s officers.   A near-riot ensued  with other athletes of the Argentine Olympic squad and Lovell was the accused ringleader.  Lovell was kept in custody for the rest of the voyage and instead of being meeting a ticker-tape reception he was thrown in jail.

369_001Four years later in Berlin, at the Summer Olympics, Alberto’s brother, Guillermo Lovell, aged 18, won the silver medal in the heavyweight category.

Guillermo Lovell is Pictured right .


In his career as a professional boxer, Alberto Lovell became the Argentine and South American champion, winning 76 matches, 55 of them by knock out.  Alberto Lovell was only defeated 8 times (2 by Knock Out), and had 3 draws.

Alberto Lovell went professional in 1938; becoming the champion Argentine and South American heavyweight.  His first professional fight was against Eduardo Primo on January 20, 1934, losing by technical knockout. Santiago Lovell also beat Red Burman and Maxie Rosenbloom. His last fight was against Archie Moore in the Luna Park in Buenos Aires on July 7, 1951.  On July 7, 1953 the Asociación Argentina de Boxeo took his title and declared the championship vacant because Lovell had not defended his title since 1944.

Lovell’s boxing talent seemed to be a familial trait; besides his brother, his son, Alberto Santiago, would make it to the quarter finals in Tokyo in 1964, as a heavyweight as well.  Santiago’s son went on to box professionally with some success and another son Pedro, was also a professional fighter and played the part of “Spider Rico” in the first and last “Rocky” movies.

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