Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Germany Hall, Berlin
Date Started: August 10, 1936
Date Finished: August 15, 1936
Format: Single elimination tournament.
Two men who had been looked at as possible champions were not eligible for the trip to Berlin, Great Britain’s Pat Palmer, the 1934 European and British Empire champion had recently turned professional as had Johnny Marceline, the US champion of 1935.
The new regulations concerning weighing-in caused more difficulties in the flyweight division than in any other. A number of fancied competitors were forced to move up a weight class in order to avoid the possibility of disqualification. This made the prediction of medal hopefuls very difficult although Lauria of the USA, the Frenchman Fayaud, Munag of the Philippines and the Argentine Carlomagno were touted by some as possible champions.
The 18-year old American Lou Lauria, the youngest member of the US team in Berlin, caught the eye in his first round points victory over Bezděk of Czechoslovakia with his speed and accuracy. After a bye in the opening round, the German fighter Willy Kaiser was also impressive as he forced the referee to stop his second round bout against the Chilean Lopez to save the South American from unnecessary punishment. Kaiser continued his progress with a win over the Uruguayan Fidel Tricánico in the last eight; Tricánico had been fortunate enough to gain a bye in the first round then saw his prospective second round opponent from Peru withdraw in protest at the treatment of the Peruvian football team.
The semi-final stage saw Lauria defeated by the strong Sardinian Gavino Matta in a close fight whilst Kaiser turned back the challenge of
Carlomagno of Argentina. Lauria won the bronze medal when Carlomagno withdrew and his boxing skills were recognized by the award of the inaugural Val Barker trophy, presented to the most stylish boxer in the tournament.
In the final Kaiser went on the attack from the outset, forcing the tempo at close quarters and keeping his opponent at bay. When Matta tried to fight back Kaiser pushed the pace even higher and left the Italian with cuts around both eyes. As he tried to turn the fight around Matta became desperate and was warned for fouling his opponent. Towards the end of the fight the Italian tired and Kaiser wrapped up a points decision and Germany’s first ever boxing gold.
The two men met again a year later in the European championship with the same result, although this time it was for the bronze medal rather than gold. Matta and Lauria later turned professional, the Italian winning his national title.
|3||Lou Laurie||18||United States||USA||Bronze|
|5T||William Passmore||21||South Africa||RSA|
|16T||Alf Russell||21||Great Britain||GBR|