Mario Kindelán

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Kindelán and the second or maternal family name is Mesa.
Mario Kindelán
Real name Mario César Kindelán Mesa
Rated at Lightweight
Height 5 ft 4 12 in (164 cm)[1]
Nationality Cuban
Born (1971-08-10) August 10, 1971
Holguín, Cuba
Stance Southpaw

Mario César Kindelán Mesa (born August 10, 1971), best known as Mario Kindelán, is a Cuban former amateur boxer. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, having competed in the lightweight division at the 2000 and 2004 events. His cousin is baseball player Orestes Kindelán.


His most successful period came in a winning streak starting with the 1999 Pan American Games title, and covered every major event he entered including the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, three world championships (1999, 2001, 2003), and the 2003 Pan American Games. His most recent victory was at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, defeating Amir Khan in the final, and retaining his gold medal from four years earlier.

Kindelan holds wins over future professional world champions Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan and Andreas Kotelnik. Kindelan also beat fellow Olympic champions Somluck Kamsing and Felix Diaz.[2]

Prior to the Olympics in 2004 Kindelan had beaten Khan 33-13 at the pre-tournament as well as beating him at the Olympics 33-22.

Mario Kindelan's amateur record was 358-22, having not lost since 1999 till his retirement in 2004.[3]

Amateur highlights

In 1999, he was named as one of the top ten athletes in Cuba, and was named Boxer of the Year.

2000 Olympic Games

2004 Athens Olympic Games

Kindelan's results in the games, were as follows:

World Amateur Championships

1999 in Houston, United States (as a lightweight)

2001 in Belfast, Northern Ireland (as a lightweight)

2003 in Bangkok, Thailand (as a lightweight)


In May 2005, aged 34, he came out of retirement and travelled to Bolton, England for a third fight with Amir Khan. He had beaten Khan twice already the previous year in the Pre-Olympic tournament and the Olympic Lightweight final however Khan had become a popular attraction in the UK and a third fight was arranged to set up his professional debut. Khan beat Kindelan on points 19-13.

Having retired, he is generally considered as one of the greatest amateur boxers ever seen, leading to the comment during his final fight by the boxing commentator that he was "a professional in a vest".

Typical for athletes from Cuba, where professional sport is prohibited, his reward is his pride in representing his people on the Olympic stage. He said, of being offered $1 million to compete professionally, "I thanked them, but money cannot buy what I have."


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