Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Exhibition Hall I, Helsinki
Date Started: July 28, 1952
Date Finished: August 2, 1952
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Bronze:|| Gang Jun-Ho
Home boxer Pentti Hämäläinen was not unknown at the time of the 1952 Olympics since he was a bronze medallist at the previous year's European Championships, but there were other boxers who were more favoured to make an impression in Helsinki than the Finnish mechanic.
The Finn, inspired by the support of the home crowd, boxed beautifully to reach the final where he faced Ireland's first ever Olympic boxing finalist in the shape of Ulsterman John McNally. The Hämäläinen-McNally fight was a clash of styles with the Finn, the shorter man, attempting to crowd the taller, more mobile Irishman. Although the decision in favour of Hämäläinen was hugely popular inside the arena the Irish team were convinced their man had been harshly treated by the judges who split 2-1 against McNally.
Hämäläinen returned to the Olympics in 1956 to win a bronze medal before embarking on a professional career which petered out quickly. The boxer that later went on to gain the most fame, albeit in a tragic way, was American Davey Moore. He may only have been a quarter-finalist in Helsinki but he went to a glittering career as a professional and had a four-year reign as world featherweight champion. In 1963 he defended his title on live television against Sugar Ramos of Mexico. In the 8th round he was knocked down and in the process of falling struck his head against the bottom rope and suffered a brain stem injury. He fought on for a few rounds before the referee stopped but later collapsed in his dressing room. Moore slipped into a coma and died a few days later. His story was immortalised in the Bob Dylan song "Who Killed Davey Moore".
|3T||Gang Jun-Ho||24||South Korea||KOR||Bronze|
|3T||Gennady Garbuzov||21||Soviet Union||URS||Bronze|
|5T||Davey Moore||18||United States||USA|
|5T||Lennie von Graevenitz||17||South Africa||RSA|
|9T||Angel Figueroa||22||Puerto Rico||PUR|
|17T||Tiến Vình||31||South Vietnam||VNM|
|17T||Tommy Nicholls||20||Great Britain||GBR|