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We were nine USA Olympic Champion pugilists competing in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. The mystery of what happened to my fellow Olympians has puzzled me for the past 44 years. So, naturally, I contacted them.
Everybody knows about my Olympic teammate and roommate, Light Heavyweight Cassius Clay. Years after the Games he encountered Malcolm X causing Cassius to convert his Christian religion to Islam and his birth name to Muhammad Ali.
The 112-pounder was Humberto “Lefty” Barrera from Robstown, TX, a tough Mexican-American puncher and the “baby” of the team, only a junior in high school. Nevertheless in my opinion, besides Cassius, the best pound for pound boxer on the team. After the Games he turned pro and was later ranked eighth amongst the world’s best bantamweights. More importantly, he continued night schooling, earning a college degree in Engineering while being a husband, father and grandfather. I’m so proud of my amigo, “Lefty.” Kudos.