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Boxing at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Light-Heavyweight

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Exhibition Hall I, Helsinki
Date Started: July 29, 1952
Date Finished: August 2, 1952
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: USA Norvel Lee
Silver: ARG Antonio Pacenza
Bronze: FIN Harry Siljander
URS Anatoly Perov

Summary

Norvel Lee was taken to Helsinki as America's reserve in the heavyweight division, the same as he had been in 1948, after losing to Ed Sanders in the final of the US Olympic trials. After arriving in Finland he was persuaded by team official to shed the necessary weight and fight as a light-heavyweight. Lee impressed in training and was given the US berth in his new division.

This proved a masterstroke by the US officials as Lee proved to be the outstanding boxer in any of the weight divisions in Helsinki and was a worthy winner of the Val Barker Trophy for the best boxer at the Games. Lee was a graduate of Howard University and did not follow the usual career path for an American Olympic boxing champion and refused to turn professional. Instead he spent a lifetime working in adult education whilst also moonlighting as a judge in professional boxing.

A second round loser was Britain's Henry Cooper. After a long career where he was multiple British and European champion, he became the first boxer ever to be awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Norvel Lee 27 United States USA Gold
2 Antonio Pacenza 24 Argentina ARG Silver
3T Harry Siljander 29 Finland FIN Bronze
3T Anatoly Perov 25 Soviet Union URS Bronze
5T Tadeusz Grzelak 22 Poland POL
5T Gianbattista Alfonsetti 22 Italy ITA
5T Karl Kistner 23 Germany GER
5T Lucio Grotone 23 Brazil BRA
9T Henry Cooper 18 Great Britain GBR
9T Mohamed El-Minabawi 25 Egypt EGY
9T Rolf Storm 21 Sweden SWE
9T Bjarne Lingås 19 Norway NOR
9T Franz Pfitscher 21 Austria AUT
9T Claude Arnaiz 21 France FRA
9T Dumitru Ciobotaru 25 Romania ROU
9T Toon Pastor 23 Netherlands NED
17T István Fazekas 22 Hungary HUN
17T Oscar Ward 24 India IND