Igor Vysotsky (born 10 September 1953 in Yagodnoye, Magadan Oblast) is a retired Soviet amateur boxer, best known for twice defeating the triple Olympic Champion Teófilo Stevenson. He was the Soviet Heavyweight Champion in 1978 and had an amateur record of 161–24.
Vysotsky first fought Stevenson in July 1973, defeating him by a 3–2 decision. Their second and final meeting was in April 1976. Vysotsky stopped Stevenson in the third round.
Shortly before the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Vysotsky was badly cut in a sparring session, which prevented his participation in the Olympics (cuts were a problem for Vysotsky throughout his career). The Cubans didn't know about the injury and sent two heavyweights to Montreal, Stevenson and Milyano Romero. If Vysotsky had participated, Stevenson would have been an alternate.
In 1976, He stopped future WBA Heavyweight Champion Tony Tubbs in two rounds. The following year, he fought another future WBA Heavyweight Champion, Greg Page, losing by a split decision. Both bouts were in Las Vegas, Nevada and were part of a series of matches between the American and Soviet teams.
In June 1978, Muhammad Ali went on a ten-day tour of the Soviet Union. While there, he sparred several rounds with Vysotsky.
Vysotsky's last fight was at the 1980 National Championships. He lost to Evgeny Gorstkov due to a cut. After retirement Vysotsky worked as a coach and sport functionary, particularly as vice-president of the Boxing Federation of Moscow Oblast.
Rivalry with Stevenson
Teófilo Stevenson was known for two fights with Vysotsky, who defeated Stevenson twice. Vysotsky later revealed in his interview to East Side Boxing:
I fought Teofilo twice. We first met at the “Córdova Cardín” tournament in 1973 in Cuba. I took the first two opponents, both being Cuban, out early. In the third, I beat Stevenson on points. Although the score was 3:2, the pace of the fight forced Teofilo to take two necessary breaks to retie his gloves. We had a saying in the USSR, “It’s easier to win the World championships than it is to win ‘Córdova Cardín’.” The second time was at a class A International tournament in Minsk, in March 1976. In each stanza, Stevenson took a count, while in the final three minutes, I knocked him out.— Igor Vysotsky, Interview with East Side Boxing, 2006