Vale Tony Madigan
30 October 2017
AOC: The Olympic movement and Boxing community is mourning the loss of three-time Olympian and Australian amateur boxer, Tony Madigan who passed away today, aged 87.
Madigan competed at the Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960 Games and was Australia's best-performed amateur boxer. In a career that spanned over 13 years, Madigan fought one of sports greats, Cassius Clay otherwise known as Muhammad Ali on two occasions.
At the Rome Olympics, AOC Historian Harry Gordon described Madigan as having “the distinction of giving the ultimate gold medallist, Cassius Clay, his toughest bout of the Games. Clay, an amiable eighteen-year-old from Kentucky, later became the great Muhammad Ali.”
Madigan claimed the bronze medal at the 1960 Games after losing to Clay in the semi-final. He missed going to Tokyo 1964 when he was defeated by Fred Casey in the final of the Olympic trials.
Swimming legend and Olympic Gold medallist John Devitt represented Australia alongside Madigan at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics.
“Tony was one of the greatest boxers to represent Australia. He performed against some of the greatest fighters in the world over a long career,” Devitt said.
“He was a credit to his sport and a credit to Australia. Best of all he was a great guy.”
AOC President, John Coates expressed his condolences on behalf of the Australian Olympic community.
“The passing of Tony Madigan is incredibly sad to both the Australian and wider International Olympic movement,” Coates said.
“Tony was a true legend of Australian boxing and Olympic history, best known for his battle with Muhammad Ali. He is and will remain Australia’s greatest amateur boxer and a milestone of Australian sporting history.”
“On behalf of the Olympic movement I pass on condolences to his family.”
Madigan won three medals in the Empire and Commonwealth Games at Vancouver 1954 (silver), Cardiff 1958 (gold) and Perth 1962 (gold). He had many successful amateur bouts in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Madigan was the 2010 Inductee for the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame Veterans category.
Outside of his stellar athletic career, Madigan also spent time in New York city as a model and later in life focused heavily on his family. Madigan is survived by wife, Sybilla whom he lived with in the South of France and the UK as well as son, Kendall and brother Mark.