Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Jamsil Students' Gymnasium, Seoul Sports Complex, Seoul
Date Started: September 22, 1988
Date Finished: October 2, 1988
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Bronze:|| Janusz Zarenkiewicz
The new Cuban star Jorge Luis Gonzales, the 1987 World Cup winner, was a casualty of his nation's boycott so the general opinion was that the gold medal would be contested between the North American pairing of Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe and the European duo of Ulli Kaden and Alex Miroshnichenko.
Lewis and Kaden were the first big names to meet and Lewis, the British-born Canadian, sensationally dispatched his more experienced East German opponent in just thirty-four seconds. Bowe and Miroshnichenko met in the semi-finals with the American taking victory on points. This meant Lewis and Bowe would face other for the Olympic championship. Bowe held the upper hand in the first round and won it quite comfortably but, urged to be more aggressive by the corner, Lewis took control in the second round and forced his opponent to take two standing counts. After the second count, the referee sent Bowe back to his corner and, to the shock of many in the arena, waved the bout off.
The two finalists turned professional and for the next decade their careers ran parallel with each other. Both men had reigns as world heavyweight champion though Lewis's time at the top of his profession was much longer than Bowe's. In 2004 Lewis retired whilst still heavyweight champion, a feat not done for over 50 years. In contrast Bowe's life began to fall apart and in 2000 he was sent to jail for 17 months for kidnapping his wife and children at knifepoint. In court his attorneys claimed in mitigation that he had suffered brain damage during his career but incredibly he was still allowed to resume his boxing career in 2004. He fought three low key fights before retiring for good.
|2||Riddick Bowe||21||United States||USA||Silver|
|3T||Alex Miroshnichenko||24||Soviet Union||URS||Bronze|
|5T||Kim Yu-Hyeon||27||South Korea||KOR|
|5T||Ulli Kaden||29||East Germany||GDR|
|5T||Andreas Schnieders||21||West Germany||FRG|
|9T||Harold Arroyo||27||Puerto Rico||PUR|
|17||Tshibalabala Kadima||26||Congo (Kinshasa)||COD|