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Summer Games Spotlight : Barcelona '92 Olympics : Medals Are Mightier Than The Gun

August 02, 1992|EARL GUSTKEY | Times Staff Writer

One recent night at the Olympic boxing venue, U.S. basketball players Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley dropped in to watch 10 or so bouts. Armed security men surrounded the group, automatic weapons at the ready, and created a small island of privacy for them.

But a tall, graceful man with a pleasant smile appeared, and the guards let him pass.

It was Teofilo Stevenson, the former Cuban heavyweight, who won three consecutive gold medals, at the Munich, Montreal and Moscow Olympics. And he wanted to meet Johnson.

The two shook hands, chatted briefly and Stevenson returned to his seat on the floor level. "He said it was an honor to meet me," Johnson said.

"I told him the only thing I'd ever wanted to do was to see him fight in our (pro) heavyweight competition."

Of how the guards quickly let Stevenson pass through their lines, Johnson said: "Nobody was going to mess with him."

\o7 This a daily roundup of Olympic-related items from reporters in Barcelona from the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant, all Times-Mirror newspapers.\f7

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