Granddaughter shares life story, family photos of Olympic boxer Al Robinson
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV/KTRE) - Memories of a hardly known Olympic boxer, Al Robinson, have been pieced together with black and white pictures sought out by his 28-year-old granddaughter, Kimberly Goodloe Robinson.
Al Robinson was an Olympic boxing teammate of George Foreman, but he would be disqualified in his bout with Antonio Roldan. Robinson’s granddaughter shared how a decision was made to reverse the DQ during an interview at Distinctive Boxing Gym in Longview.
“Looking at the pictures and stuff and what went on that day in 1968, and the rest of his boxing pictures, those pictures are very moving,” Kimberly said. “They’re palpable. You can feel what’s going on in the photos.”
She received the scrapbook from her father when she was 26 years old, two years ago. 26 is also the age her grandfather died after nearly being in a coma for three years. His son, Kimberly’s father, was just three.
Al Robinson led the life of an Olympian. He was in the navy, and when he joined the Olympics, he became a teammate of former heavyweight champ George Foreman. That story is the subject of a soon-to-be-released movie.
Al Jr. received an email from East Texan George Foreman back in 2015 that sang the praises of his father.
“He sent him this in this in the email,” Kimberly explained. “He said, ‘Hello Al Jr., this is George Foreman. I was a teammate of your fast-moving and hard-punching father. Pound for pound the best boxer on the 1968 Olympics team. And #1 in the world at the time. He would have been a No miss for world champ! I am out of the state now, but please stay in touch. Yours, George Foreman.’”
In the Olympics, Robinson was disqualified for head-butting his opponent, Antonio Roldan.
“After that happened, his coach immediately filed an appeal, and three hours later the IBF overruled the Russian referee’s decision, and Al was awarded the silver medal, but he didn’t receive it then and there,” Kimberly said. “He received it in the mail. He found out right before he was leaving Mexico that he was going to get the medal, but he almost went home with nothing.”
After the 1968 Olympics, someone in the Nixon Whitehouse heard about Al Sr.’s Olympics moment, and he received and accepted an invitation to the inauguration.
Kimberly’s father is still around, and he is the one who shared their family history with her.
“When he showed me this, I was intrigued by this information. It made me want to do the story,” she said.
She also shared how meaningful the story is to her, saying she feels proud.
“Oh very proud,” she said. “I come from greatness.”
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