Host City: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Venue(s): Power Sports Building, Amsterdam
Date Started: August 7, 1928
Date Finished: August 11, 1928
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Gold:||Bep van Klaveren|
It comes as no surprise that the gold medal victory of Bep van Kleveren in the featherweight division was the most popular of the boxing tournament and perhaps of the entire games. The tough Dutchman had already beaten the representatives of Spain and Great Britain before he faced Harry Devine of the United States in the semi-final round. Van Klaveren started and finished the fight strongly and his harder punching and higher work rate saw him safely through. Victor Peralta of the Argentine lay in wait for the Dutchman in the final and although reports vary on who deserved the victory, the decision in favour of Van Klaveren led to outrage in the Argentine support. Dutch police were called to calm the disturbances which went on for some time.
Van Klaveren’s professional career saw him fight on four continents and in many counties over an amazing 27-year span. Winner of national and European lightweight titles in the early thirties, he campaigned for many years in the United States and was in America when World War II broke out. After five years service in the Dutch army he resumed his career and won the national middleweight title. Retirement at the age of 41 proved temporary, he resumed fighting at the age of 47 and went on a remarkable run of victories that culminated in an attempt at the European welterweight title.
As the only Dutch boxer to have won Olympic gold he remains a legendary figure in his native country. A statue of him, in fighting pose, was erected in his hometown of Rotterdam after his death in 1992. A sign of his enduring popularity is that in 2007, he was voted the “Greatest Rotterdammer” of all time, beating, amongst others, the philosopher and theologian Erasmus.
|1||Bep van Klaveren||20||Netherlands||NED||Gold|
|3||Harry Devine||18||United States||USA||Bronze|
|5T||Fred Perry||24||Great Britain||GBR|