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.
|Bronze:|| Thomas Ulrich
[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/8704) and won two of their three fights.
|2||Lee Seung-Bae||25||South Korea||KOR||Silver|
|3T||Antonio Tarver||27||United States||USA||Bronze|
|5||Enrique Flores||27||Puerto Rico||PUR|
|7||Daniel Andrade Júnior||26||Brazil||BRA|
|9T||David Kowah||24||Sierra Leone||SLE|
|9T||Sybrand Botes||19||South Africa||RSA|
|17T||Gabriel Hernández||23||Dominican Republic||DOM|
|17T||Julio César González||19||Mexico||MEX|
|17T||Ayoub Pourtaghi Ghoushchi||23||Iran||IRI|