Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Exhibition Hall I, Helsinki
Date Started: July 29, 1952
Date Finished: August 2, 1952
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Bronze:|| Ilkka Koski
America's Ed Sanders created carnage in the heavyweight division as he battered his way to the final with three brutal knockout victories. His opponent in the final, Sweden's Ingemar Johansson, appeared to be completely intimidated by the American's reputation and spent most of the fight backpedalling around the ring. When Sanders did get into range Johansson would simply grab hold of his opponent. Eventually an increasingly irate referee grew tired of warning the Swede and disqualified him for "not trying". This also had the effect of denying Johansson his silver medal and the second step on the podium remained vacant.
Sanders, a member of the US Navy, turned professional in 1954 with high expectations but these were derailed when he lost only his fourth pro fight. In December 1954 he was knocked out by Willie James in a fight at the Boston Garden. Sanders was rushed to hospital with a blood clot on the brain and succumbed to his injury, dying three days later.
Ironically it was Johansson who became a household name as a professional when he became the first European to win the World Heavyweight Championship for over 20 years after knocking out fellow Olympic champion Floyd Patterson. In 1982, 30 years after his Olympic embarrassment, Johansson was finally awarded his silver medal after the IOC were persuaded to reverse their decision.
|1||Ed Sanders||22||United States||USA||Gold|
|3T||Dries Nieman||24||South Africa||RSA||Bronze|
|5T||Giacomo Di Segni||32||Italy||ITA|
|5T||Algirdas Šocikas||24||Soviet Union||URS|
|5T||Eddie Hearn||23||Great Britain||GBR|