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Boxing at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's Heavyweight

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Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Maurice Richard Arena, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 22, 1976
Date Finished: July 31, 1976
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: CUB Teófilo Stevenson
Silver: ROU Mircea Simion
Bronze: BER Clarence Hill
USA Johnny Tate

Summary

The clear favorite was Cuba's Téofilo Stevenson, the defending gold medalist. Stevenson had also won gold medals at the 1971 and 1975 Pan American Games and was the 1974 World Champion. He followed in the line of great Olympic heavyweight champions, after Joe Frazier (1964) and George Foreman (1968), but unlike those two, Cuban policies prevented him from turning professional. Stevenson had been defeated twice since the 1972 Olympics, both times by Soviet Igor Vysotsky, once in early 1976, but Vysotsky was not in Montréal because of eye injuries, which further opened the way for the Cuban.

The 1976 heavyweight tournament was less that than simply a coronation for Stevenson, as none of his four matches lasted the distance. The Americans touted Johnny Tate, but in the semi-finals he went down to Stevenson's hammer fists in only 1:29 of the first round. In the final Stevenson faced Romania's Mircea Simion who ran away for two rounds rather than fight. Probably a wise decision as Stevenson finally caught him in round three and the referee quickly stopped the bout. Simion was not done running as he defected to the United States in 1977 and had a short pro career, lasting through 1979, finishing with a career record of 12 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw.

Although Stevenson could not turn professional, fight promoters and agents drooled at the possibility, both because of his skills and his movie-star good looks. In 1980 he came back to win a third Olympic gold medal, becoming only the second boxer (at the time) to do that, following Hungary's László Papp. He won further gold medals at the 1979 Pan American Games, and the 1978 and 1986 World Championships. Only the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Olympics likely kept Stevenson from a unique fourth consecutive Olympic boxing gold medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Teófilo Stevenson 24 Cuba CUB Gold
2 Mircea Simion 22 Romania ROU Silver
3T Johnny Tate 21 United States USA Bronze
3T Clarence Hill 25 Bermuda BER Bronze
5T Peter Hussing 28 West Germany FRG
5T Rudy Gauwe 25 Belgium BEL
5T Pekka Ruokola 25 Finland FIN
5T Atanas Sapundzhiev 26 Bulgaria BUL
9T Andrzej Biegalski 23 Poland POL
9T Mamadou Drame 22 Senegal SEN
9T Parviz Badpa 21 Iran IRI
9T Trevor Berbick 20 Jamaica JAM
9T László Pákozdi 25 Hungary HUN
9T Viktor Ivanov 19 Soviet Union URS
15 Jürgen Fanghänel 24 East Germany GDR