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Boxing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Light-Middleweight

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): West Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 24, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: HUN László Papp
Silver: USA José Torres
Bronze: GBR John McCormack
POL Zbigniew Pietrzykowski

Summary

In hindsight the light-middleweight class at the 1956 Olympics boasts one of the stellar line-ups of talent ever seen at the Games. The undoubted favourite was Hungary's László Papp who was attempting to become the first three-time Olympic boxing champion, having already won at middleweight in 1948 and light-middleweight in 1952. Standing between Papp and his goal were the European champion Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland and the brilliant young Puerto Rican-American soldier José Torres. Papp used his experience to befuddle his much younger opponents and outpointed Pietrzykowski in the semi-finals then comfortably defeating Torres in the final to claim his piece of history.

Uniquely for a fighter from a communist country Papp was allowed to turn professional on his return home from Australia. After an eight year pro career in which he remained unbeaten, he was on the verge of a shot at the world title when the Hungarian authorities decided that boxing for pay was "incompatible with socialist principles" and forced his retirement. José Torres went on to win the world professional light-heavyweight title in 1965 and in retirement became one of the professional sport's leading officials. The two bronze medalists also made their mark on the sport. Pietrzykowski won medals at the next two Olympics whilst John McCormack became European middleweight champion as a pro.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 László Papp 30 Hungary HUN Gold
2 José Torres 20 United States USA Silver
3T Zbigniew Pietrzykowski 22 Poland POL Bronze
3T John McCormack 21 Great Britain GBR Bronze
5T Alberto Sáenz 27 Argentina ARG
5T Boris Nikolov 27 Bulgaria BUL
5T Ulrich Kienast 19 Germany GER
5T Franco Scisciani 22 Italy ITA
9T Muhammad Safdar 22 Pakistan PAK
9T Rychard Karpov 25 Soviet Union URS
9T James Montgomery Canada CAN
9T Alexander Webster 22 South Africa RSA
9T Peter Read 20 Australia AUS
9T Eugène Legrand 22 France FRA