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Boxing at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 9, 1932
Date Finished: August 13, 1932
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: RSA Laurie Stevens
Silver: SWE Thure Ahlqvist
Bronze: USA Nat Bor

Summary

The favourite for this event was considered to be Nat Bor of Massachusetts, the reigning United States amateur champion, although Bianchini of Italy was the 1930 European champion and both Mizler of Great Britain and the South African Laurie Stevens had won titles at the inaugural British Empire Games, albeit in lower weight divisions. Mizler had the misfortune to be drawn against Bor in his first bout and the home crowd cheered the American on to victory. Another first round loser was the Japanese fighter Otsu Shuko, although born in Japan; Shuko was an ethnic Korean, the first to compete in Olympic boxing, and known in his mother language as Hwang Eul-Su.

Bor was not however destined to be Olympic champion; his performance in the semi-final against the tall Swede Thure Ahlqvist was described as sluggish and disappointing, Ahlqvist using his height and reach advantage to keep his opponent at bay whilst occasionally landing stiff right hands to the jaw of the American. The other semi saw the demise of the Italian Bianchini, conclusively defeated on points by Stevens of South Africa. Ahlqvist could not repeat his semi-final performance in the gold medal bout and Stevens became the first of two South African boxers to win gold medals in the Olympic Auditorium.

As a professional Stevens’ career suffered from the outbreak of the Second World War. He had been South African lightweight and welterweight champion and with a victory over the legendary Englishman, Jack “Kid” Berg, become the lightweight champion of the British Empire. Any hopes he had of fighting for the world title never came true and he retired in 1945 after a knockout defeat. Nat Bor won 47 of his first 48 professional fights but his career fizzled out and he would never fight for a title belt, Mauro Bianchini would go on to be Italian national welterweight champion and Harry Mizler would also go on to be a national champion as a pro.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Laurie Stevens 19 South Africa RSA Gold
2 Thure Ahlqvist 25 Sweden SWE Silver
3 Nat Bor 19 United States USA Bronze
4 Mario Bianchini 18 Italy ITA
5T Gaston Mayor France FRA
5T Frankie Genovese 16 Canada CAN
5T Franz Kartz 25 Germany GER
8T Manuel Ponce Mexico MEX
8T Bob Purdie 21 New Zealand NZL
8T Eduardo Vargas 22 Argentina ARG
8T Otsu Shuko Japan JPN
8T José Padilla 21 Philippines PHI
8T Harry Mizler 19 Great Britain GBR