Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Date Started: July 26, 1992
Date Finished: August 9, 1992
Participants: 339 (339 men and 0 women) from 79 countries
Youngest Participant: Faustino Reyes (17 years, 117 days)
Oldest Participant: Julio González (31 years, 205 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 48 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Cuba (9 medals)
The 1992 boxing tournament was held at the Pavelló Club Joventut Badalona, also known as the Pavelló dels Països Catalans. Once again, the boxers contested 12 classes, as they had done in 1984 and 1988, starting with the 48 kg limit light-flyweight class. By 1992, the Cubans were dominant in worldwide amateur boxing and they proved it in Barcelona, winning seven gold medals, led by Félix Savón in the heavyweight class, his first of three consecutive gold medals, and Joël Casamayor, who won the bantamweight gold, and in 1995 would defect to the United States and later win professional world titles. Germany was next best after Cuba, winning two gold medals. In the lightweight class, American Oscar de la Hoya, a future professional champion, won the only gold medal for the United States.
But the biggest change in Olympic boxing in 1992 came in the scoring system used. At all previous Olympics, judges gave subjective scores to determine the winners if the bout was not stopped. But because of scoring controversies that had enveloped the sport at recent Olympics and other international events, in 1992 each judge was given a scoring console that was essentially a punch counter. Whenever a boxer landed an effective punch, the judge was supposed to count a punch. Since the definition of an “effective punch” is somewhat subjective, the counter only reflected a landed punch if three of the five judges pushed their buttons within one second of one another. The overall score was then simply a punch count of whoever landed the most effective punches. While it reads well, the system still did not work as hoped, although a variant of this system remains in place at the Olympics.