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Boxing at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's Light-Heavyweight

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 24, 1996
Date Finished: August 4, 1996
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: KAZ Vasily Zhirov
Silver: KOR Lee Seung-Bae
Bronze: GER Thomas Ulrich
USA Antonio Tarver

Summary

Antonio Tarver, already favourite for the Olympic title after being crowned world champion in 1995, was given a further boost shortly before the Games began when his predecessor as world champion, Ramon Garbey of Cuba, defected to the United States.

Tarver began his Olympic campaign in fine style with three clear victories but the semi-final brought a massive disappointment for the home crowd when Vasily Zhirov proved too strong for the American and ran out a clear victor by a 15-9 margin.

By then Zhirov had already accounted for his main European rival Pietro Aurino and had only to see off the challenge of Korean Lee Seung-Bae to win gold for Kazakhstan. Lee had moved up from the middleweight division since winning a bronze medal in Barcelona and was much the smaller man of the two finalists. He was unable to cope with the size and speed of Zhirov and was susceptible to the body punches of the Kazakh fighter. In the final round Zhirov stepped up the place and forced a standing eight count on the Korean. His performances earned the Kazakh fighter the Val Barker Award as the outstanding boxer of the tournament.

Zhirov and Tarver both had long and successful careers as professionals and both had long spells as world champion. Tarver notably had a memorable series of fights against [Roy Jones, Jr.] (/athletes/show/8704) and won two of their three fights.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Vasily Zhirov 22 Kazakhstan KAZ Gold
2 Lee Seung-Bae 25 South Korea KOR Silver
3T Antonio Tarver 27 United States USA Bronze
3T Thomas Ulrich 21 Germany GER Bronze
5 Enrique Flores 27 Puerto Rico PUR
6 Troy Amos-Ross 21 Canada CAN
7 Daniel Andrade Júnior 26 Brazil BRA
8 Stipe Drviš 23 Croatia CRO
9T David Kowah 24 Sierra Leone SLE
9T Sybrand Botes 19 South Africa RSA
9T Paul Mbongo 25 Cameroon CMR
9T Pietro Aurino 19 Italy ITA
9T Jean-Louis Mandengue 24 France FRA
9T Ismael Koné 22 Sweden SWE
9T Temur Ibragimov 21 Uzbekistan UZB
9T Freddy Rojas 26 Cuba CUB
17T Dmitry Vybornov 26 Russia RUS
17T Gabriel Hernández 23 Dominican Republic DOM
17T Gurcharan Singh 19 India IND
17T Roland Raforme 29 Seychelles SEY
17T Julio César González 19 Mexico MEX
17T Yusuf Öztürk 22 Turkey TUR
17T Khadour Adnan 25 Syria SYR
17T Ayoub Pourtaghi Ghoushchi 23 Iran IRI
17T İlham Kərimov 20 Azerbaijan AZE
17T Rick Timperi 29 Australia AUS
17T John Douglas 25 Guyana GUY
17T Rostyslav Zaulychniy 27 Ukraine UKR
17T Sam Leuii 24 Samoa SAM
17T Mohamed Mahmoud 25 Egypt EGY
17T Peter Odhiambo 29 Kenya KEN