The military produced many good amateur and professional boxing champions for years.
Back into the 40’s during the war great boxers were in the military like Army great Heavyweight champion Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis and all-time great pound for pound “Sugar” Ray Robinson.
In 1957 future world Light Heavyweight champion Bob Foster joined the Air Force and won the all-service title 3 times and a Silver medal in the 1959 Pan Am Games.
In the 60’s Heavyweight champion Ken Norton started boxing while in the Marines in 1963. “I believe the Marine way of life and thinking was the genesis of positive thinking for me.” He was 24-2 winning 3 Marine titles. In 1971 Heavyweight Duane Bobick was a 3-time all-Navy champion, 2-time All Service champion and 2-time International Military champion. He won the Pan American title in 1971 but lost in the 1972 Olympics to Cuba’s Teofilio Stevenson who he had defeated previously in the Pan Am Games.
Air Force Heavyweight Nick Wells stopped Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes twice in the amateurs but couldn’t get by Duane Bobick. He was a 5-time Air Force champion and 2-time All Service champion.
The 1976 Olympic team had Michael and Leon Spinks representing the Marines winning Gold Medals and going onto win world titles as Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight champion for Michael and Heavyweight for Leon.
In 1988 Ray “Merciless” Mercer represented the Army winning the Olympic Gold Medal. He would go onto win the Heavyweight title as a professional.