Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 23, 1996
Date Finished: August 3, 1996
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Bronze:|| Yermakhan Ibraimov
World champion Francisc Vastag of Romania was heralded as the man to beat in Atlanta but he made no impression on the Olympic tournament and crashed out at the first hurdle to German fighter Markus Beyer. In theory this should have left Alfredo Duvergel of Cuba with a clear run at the Olympic title but there was a final twist to the story of the light-middleweight division.
The USA had started well in a quest to match previous Olympic performances when the Games were held on its native soil but the semi-final stages had been a disaster and only one American, David Reid, advanced to the final, in this class. Reid began the final well but Duvergel gradually increased the pressure and, when the fight entered the final round, he held a seemingly unassailable 15-6 lead. The American was then told by his coach Al Mitchell to forget the technical boxing and just go for the knockout. Within 30 seconds Reid landed a chopping right hand punch that landed on Duvergel’s temple and sent him crashing face first onto the canvas. The Cuban attempted to rise but was still groggy and the Bulgarian referee completed the count out. This continued the American run of having won at least one gold medal in boxing at every Games they had attended since 1952.
Reid turned professional after the Games and won a version of the world title in just his 15th pro fight. After two defences he was matched against the legendary Puerto Rican boxer Felix Trinidad in a unification match for the light-middleweight title. He lost the fight via a points decision and also suffered a detached retina during the contest. Reid only had four more contests before continuing worries about his eyesight forced him to retire. Duvergel rebounded to be World Amateur Championships gold medalist in 1997 whilst quarter-finalist Markus Beyer was a 3-time world champion in the professional ranks.
|1||David Reid||22||United States||USA||Gold|
|6||Mohamed Salah Marmouri||28||Tunisia||TUN|
|9T||Pavel Polakovič||22||Czech Republic||CZE|
|17T||Kurt Sinette||22||Trinidad and Tobago||TTO|
|17T||Lee Wan-Gyun||22||South Korea||KOR|
|17T||Victor Kunene||29||South Africa||RSA|
|17T||Maselino Masoe||30||American Samoa||ASA|
|17T||José Luis Quiñones||22||Puerto Rico||PUR|