László Papp was a three-time Olympic gold medalist boxer. He won the gold at three consecutive Olympics, in London, Helsinki, and Melbourne. With these results, László Papp can boast being tied with two Cuban boxers for having the most number of Olympic gold medals in boxing and the first to attain this prestigious position. His father always wanted his son to be a football player or boxer, which is how László found himself in the ring. He was born in Budapest in 1926 and was only 30 years old when he won his third Olympic gold. He then launched his career as a professional boxer and, although he received a multitude of foreign offers, his love for his country drew him back to Hungary. In 1962, he won the European Boxing Union championship, and then defended the title a total of six times. However, when he was slated for the world championships, the Hungarian political regime withdrew his sports license for reasons unknown to this day, and he was not able to attend the match. This forced him to retire, ending his professional career undefeated, with 27 wins and 2 draws. Even after his boxing career was over, he remained an idol for millions of people, leading adoring children to take up boxing because of him. He was a true athlete who always remained modest and humble despite his illustrious success. Papp was also successful as a coach and served as the captain of the Hungarian national boxing team. László Papp died in 2003 at the age of 77.
Even during his lifetime, he received numerous awards and recognitions, being elected into the Boxing Hall of Fame (2001), receiving a medal from the International Olympic Committee, receiving an International Fair Play lifetime award and a number of state recognitions. In 1989, the World Boxing Council (WBC) awarded him honorary champion status. Hungary’s largest indoor sports facility, the László Papp Budapest Sports Arena, is named in his honor.