Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Jamsil Students' Gymnasium, Seoul Sports Complex, Seoul
Date Started: September 19, 1988
Date Finished: October 2, 1988
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Bronze:|| Reiner Gies
The current world champion, Vasiliy Shishov of the Soviet Union, had outgrown the division in the two years since the World Championships. His replacement on the Soviet team was Belarussian Vyacheslav Yanovsky, who was also of a high calibre and had won the World Cup and also reached the final of the European Championships. Borislav Abadzhiev of Bulgaria, who had defeated Yanovsky to win the European title, made little impression in Seoul and was eliminated in his first bout.
Another bizarre chapter in the ongoing animosity between Korean and American boxers was enacted in the third round. For most of the tournament two rings were used concurrently with a bell used to denote the start and end of each round in one ring and a buzzer used in the other. The bout was held in the ring which used the buzzer but shortly before the end of the first round between Todd Foster and Jeon Jin-Cheol the Korean relaxed and turned to go to his corner when he heard the bell used in the other ring being rung. Foster realized Jeon's error and rushed at him, landing a left hook to the face. The Korean dropped to the canvas, some said in a deliberate attempt to get his opponent disqualified, but the referee began to count before changing his mind and consulting with his fellow officials. After frantic deliberations it was decided to call the fight a "no-contest" and restage the bout the following day. The rematch was a dramatic one and Foster dropped his opponent in the opening seconds and though the Korean fought back gamely, the American knocked him out in round two.
Foster's success was short-lived and he lost in an upset to Australia's Grahame Cheney in the next round. Cheney built on this to become Australia's first boxing finalist since the London Games of 1908. Try as he might Cheney could not match the expertise of Yanovsky in the final, who won the 14th and last of the Soviet Union's Olympic boxing titles. At the relatively advanced age of 33 Yanovsky decided to embark on a professional career. He won all but two of his 32 contests and won national titles in Russia, Japan and Germany but never challenged for a global title.
|1||Vyacheslav Yanovsky||31||Soviet Union||URS||Gold|
|3T||Reiner Gies||25||West Germany||FRG||Bronze|
|5T||Todd Foster||21||United States||USA|
|9T||Jeon Jin-Cheol||21||South Korea||KOR|
|17T||José Saizozema||22||Dominican Republic||DOM|
|17T||Andreas Otto||24||East Germany||GDR|
|17T||Ahmad Mayez Khanji||21||Syria||SYR|
|17T||Mark Elliott||22||Great Britain||GBR|
|17T||Rashi Ali Hadj Matumla||20||Tanzania||TAN|
|17T||Martin N'Dongo Ebanga||22||Cameroon||CMR|
|32T||Handhal Mohamed Al-Harithy||Oman||OMA|
|32T||Kouassi Kouassi||21||Cote d'Ivoire||CIV|
|32T||Jhapat Singh Bhujel||Nepal||NEP|
|32T||Jonas Bade||32||Papua New Guinea||PNG|
|32T||Víctor Pérez||17||Puerto Rico||PUR|
|DNS||Basil Maelagi||23||Solomon Islands||SOL|
|DNS||Kampompo Miango||28||Congo (Kinshasa)||COD|