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Boxing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Bantamweight

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): West Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 23, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: GER Wolfgang Behrendt
Silver: KOR Song Sun-Cheon
Bronze: CHI Claudio Barrientos
IRL Freddie Gilroy

Summary

Eastern Europe, particularly European Championships finalists Zenon Stefaniuk of Poland and the Soviet Union's Boris Stepanov, were favoured in this event but the two men were eliminated in their first bouts. Stepanov was winning his fight against Ireland's Freddie Gilroy, despite having been warned by the referee for fouling his opponent, when he turned his head to stare at the referee and was knocked out.

From the quarter-finals the draw neatly split into a section of European boxers and a section from the rest of the world. Gilroy's progress was checked at the semi-final stage by Wolfgang Behrendt of Germany who had only recently moved up in weight from flyweight whilst Song Sun-Cheon became the first Korean Olympic boxing finalist when he dispatched Claudio Barrientos of Chile in the other semi-final. By defeating Song, Behrendt became the first boxer from the GDR to win an Olympic title although it should be pointed out that East and West competed in a combined German team in 1956.

Éder Jofre of Brazil lost in the quarter finals in Melbourne but went on to a glittering career as a professional and is acknowledged as one of the greatest fighters of all time. He reigned as world bantamweight champion for five years then returned after a four year retirement to win the featherweight world crown. Jofre retired with a record of 72 wins, 2 losses and 4 draws in his 78 fight career.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Wolfgang Behrendt 20 Germany GER Gold
2 Song Sun-Cheon 22 South Korea KOR Silver
3T Freddie Gilroy 20 Ireland IRL Bronze
3T Claudio Barrientos 21 Chile CHI Bronze
5T Mario Sitri 20 Italy ITA
5T Owen Reilly 19 Great Britain GBR
5T Éder Jofre 20 Brazil BRA
5T Carmelo Tomaselli 18 Argentina ARG
9T Boris Stepanov 26 Soviet Union URS
9T Ahmed Rashid Pakistan PAK
9T Daniel Hellebuyck 23 Belgium BEL
9T Henrik Ottesen 22 Denmark DEN
9T Zenon Stefaniuk 26 Poland POL
9T Thein Myint 19 Myanmar MYA
9T Vichai Limcharern Thailand THA
9T Bobby Bath Australia AUS
17T Alberto Adem Philippines PHI
17T Hempala Jayasuriya Sri Lanka SRI