Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Germany Hall, Berlin
Date Started: August 11, 1936
Date Finished: August 15, 1936
Format: Single elimination tournament.
One of the hot favourites for the Olympic title never reached the ring. Irving Pease of Canada was considered the best fighter from outside Europe but failed to make the required weight amidst allegations from the Canadian delegation that he had treated the trip to Berlin as a mere “joyride”.
When the competition got underway the crowd saw the first ever Chinese boxer take part in Olympic competition although his debut was a brief one. Chin Kuaiti was knocked out in the opening round of his first bout but his opponent, Shrimpton of Britain, was then disqualified for not obeying the referee’s instructions prior to the knockout blow. Unfortunately for the Chinese boxer the decision was reversed the next day.
Two other boxers who failed to record a victory were the reigning European champion, Lajos Szigeti of Hungary and the welterweight bronze medallist from Los Angeles, Finland’s Bruno Ahlberg, both were defeated in the second series having drawn byes in the first round of competition.
The Norwegian fighter Henry Tiller moved through the rounds and his countrymen began seeing him as a prospective champion when he defeated the champions of South Africa, England and Germany in succession and then knocked down Chmielewski of Poland “at least half a dozen” times to gain a place in the gold medal match.
The Norwegians were to be disappointed by a stylish French boxer by the name of Jean Despeaux. Despeaux varied his punches and style of fighting during the final and avoided the harder punches of Tiller. The Frenchman’s speed of hand became the deciding factor as the final was fought at a distance.
When the two men met again later in the year, Tiller beat Despeaux in contests in both Trondheim and Oslo. Despeaux turned professional and continued to box during the German occupation. He held the national middleweight twice between 1941 and 1945. After the war he had a brief career acting in French movies. Tiller stayed as an amateur and dominated Norwegian boxing, he even claimed the British ABA championship in 1938 - a rarity for a fighter from outside Britain and Ireland and unique for a Norwegian. He would have been one for the favourites if the 1940 games had gone ahead. With the lure of an Olympic title gone, he opted for a professional career which ended prematurely after the German invasion of Norway.
|5T||Jimmy Clark||22||United States||USA|
|9T||Albert De Schryver||20||Belgium||BEL|
|9T||Richard Shrimpton||26||Great Britain||GBR|
|17T||Eddie Peltz||19||South Africa||RSA|