Memorable Olympic Boxing Moments
Boxing made its debut in the Olympics in 1904 at the games in St. Louis. Americans won all seven possible gold medals and 19 of 21 medals overall. Since its debut, Boxing has become one of the main attractions at the Summer Olympics. Olympic Boxing also brought some of the most memorable moments in Olympic history. The following is a list of some the most memorable moments of Olympic Boxing history.
The 1928 Olympic Games were held in Amsterdam. American Hyman Miller, all of 16 years old, was the favorite to win gold in the Flyweight division. Miller did not disappoint. Most observers believes that Miller had won the fight handedly. However, the judges declared Belgium’s Marcel Sartos the winner. The decision was so controversial that fans in the stands began fighting each other.
The U.S. Boxing team was so outraged they decided to withdraw all of its competitors in protest. Despite the controversy, the President of the United States Olympic Committee, Major General Douglas MacArthur demanded that the Boxing team compete stating “Americans never quit.”
The 1936 Olympic Games were held in Berlin, Germany. These games were famous for scenes of Adolf Hitler watching many of the events. Lightweight fighter Thomas Hamilton-Brown of South Africa lost a fight in a controversial split decision. Feeling depressed and down after his loss, Brown did what anyone would do and went on an eating binge to drain away his sorrows. As iit turns out one of the judges had inadvertently reversed the scores and it was later determined that Brown had actually won the fight. Sadly though, because of Brown's eating binge and late night, Brown could not make weight for the next fight and was disqualified.
The 1960 Olympic Games were held in Rome, Italy. At those games the world was introduced to the 18 year old very confident Cassius Clay, later to be known as Muhammad Ali. After winning the gold medal in the light heavyweight division in convincing fashion, Clay showed off his famous charm and wit. Asked by a Soviet Journalist about segregation in the United States, Clay responded, “Russian, we got qualified men working on that problem. We got the biggest and the prettiest cars. We got all the food we can eat. America is the greatest country in the world, and as far as places I can't eat goes, I got lots of places I can eat, more places I can than I can't."
The 1964 Olympic Games were held in Tokyo, Japan. Smokin Joe Frazier was not supposed to be on the US Olympic Team. But Smokin Joe got a slot in the games when heavyweight fighter Buster Mathis broke his knuckle and was forced to withdraw from the games. Smokin Joe Frazier took his at the Games and ended up winning the Gold medal defeating Germany’s Hans Huber in the final. Oddly, Smokin Joe himself won the gold despite having a broken hand. Smokin Joe was the only American to reach the finals that year.
Roy Jones Jr. was one of the most successful amateur boxers ever when he entered the ring during the 1988 games in Seoul, Korea. Jones eased through the qualifying bouts and was ready to fight for the gold. During the gold medal bout with South Korea’s Park Si-Hun, Jones was dominant out landing his opponent 86-32. Most observers believed that Jones had won easily. Sadly, in what obviously was a rigged decision, Jones lost to the Korean fighter. There was no doubt the Judges gave Park a hometown decision. The decision was so bad Park admitted it was wrong and invited Jones to the Gold Medal Stand during the medal ceremonies.