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.
|Bronze:|| Claudio Barrientos
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.
|2||Song Sun-Cheon||22||South Korea||KOR||Silver|
|5T||Owen Reilly||19||Great Britain||GBR|
|9T||Boris Stepanov||26||Soviet Union||URS|
|17T||Hempala Jayasuriya||Sri Lanka||SRI|