Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Date Started: August 9, 1948
Date Finished: August 13, 1948
Format: Single elimination tournament.
With an outstanding American in Wallace “Bud” Smith and a strong challenge from a number of European fighters the lightweight division was not short of quality. Belgium’s Jos Vissers won the European Championships in 1947 whilst the wiry Dane, Svend Vad , had won the bronze medal. Ireland’s Maxie McCullagh was also reckoned to be a prospect for honours.
All the major challengers reached the quarter-finals where Wad had the better of McCullagh and Visser struggled before edging Canada’s Haddad in a contest which many thought the Canadian deserved to win. Bud Smith had been the most impressive fighter in the tournament but a much improved Visser edged their semi-final and was joined in the final by the South African teenager, [Gerard Dreyer]. Dreyer had surprised Wad in the semi-final and continued to impress in the final. Visser played the aggressor but Dreyer’s solid defence held sway until a momentary lapse from the Belgian left him open to a left hook. Although Visser recovered from the second round knockdown, the course of the fight was decided and Dreyer took the gold for South Africa.
Bud Smith became world lightweight champion in 1955 and held the title for over a year. He retired with a career record of 31 wins from 60 fights although a run of 11 losses at the end of his career distorts that record slightly. Smith was shot and killed in 1973 whilst in conversation with a woman who was the intended target of the gunman. Dreyer and Vad also enjoyed success as professionals but not to the same extent as Smith.
|1||Gerald Dreyer||18||South Africa||RSA||Gold|
|4||Bud Smith||19||United States||USA|
|9T||Gang In-Seok||21||South Korea||KOR|
|9T||Ron Cooper||20||Great Britain||GBR|
|9T||Eddie Gray||29||Sri Lanka||SRI|
|17T||Ezz El-Din Nasir||Egypt||EGY|