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Boxing at the 2004 Athina Summer Games:

Men's Light-Welterweight

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall, Peristeri
Date Started: August 15, 2004
Date Finished: August 28, 2004
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: THA Manus Boonjumnong
Silver: CUB Yudel Johnson
Bronze: BUL Boris Georgiev
ROU Ionut Gheorghe

Summary

In many ways it could be said that Manus Boonjumnong of Thailand won his Olympic title by being more Cuban than the Cubans. Inspired by his coach, Juan Fontanilis, who was himself a native of that Caribbean island, he employed the same hit and run tactics that had proved so successful for Cuban boxers but with perhaps an even more defensive outlook.

Boonjumnong, a world championship bronze medallist on home soil in 2003, used these tactics to great effect in an upset quarter-final victory over France’s world champion Willy Blain and then to clinch Olympic gold against a genuine Cuban in Yudel Johnson.

The Thai fighter’s success was celebrated widely in his homeland and, soon after the medals were presented, he received a personal phone call from the King of Thailand. Boonjumnong’s newborn son was named Athens in tribute to the site of his father’s triumph. He also received donations from both government and private sources worth $600,000 which he reportedly then spent on partying and gambling. In 2006 the turmoils of his private life were briefly set aside as he won the Asian Games gold medal and he later spent time in a Buddhist monastery in an attempt to keep his focus on the retention of his title in Beijing in 2008. This was to prove a step too far for him although he had the rare satisfaction of dispatching another Cuban fighter on the way to a silver medal.

American Rock Allen made little impact on the tournament but, unlike 2000, he did at least reach the Olympic arena. In 2000 he had been disqualified at the US trials for allowing his twin brother Tiger to weigh-in on his behalf.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Manus Boonjumnong 24 Thailand THA Gold
2 Yudel Johnson 23 Cuba CUB Silver
3T Boris Georgiev 21 Bulgaria BUL Bronze
3T Ionut Gheorghe 20 Romania ROU Bronze
5T Dilshod Makhmudov 21 Uzbekistan UZB
5T Nurzhan Karimzhanov 24 Kazakhstan KAZ
5T Willy Blain 26 France FRA
5T Michele Di Rocco 22 Italy ITA
9T Davis Mwale 32 Zambia ZAM
9T Alessandro de Matos 23 Brazil BRA
9T Rock Allen 22 United States USA
9T Hicham Nafil 29 Morocco MAR
9T Romeo Brin 31 Philippines PHI
9T Aleksandr Maletin 29 Russia RUS
9T Mustafa Karagöllü 23 Turkey TUR
9T Anoushirvan Nourian 32 Australia AUS
17T Nasserredine Fillali 20 Algeria ALG
17T Isidro Mosquea 27 Dominican Republic DOM
17T Juan Navarro 20 Mexico MEX
17T Spyros Ioannidis 22 Greece GRE
17T Patrick Bogere 22 Sweden SWE
17T Mohammed Ali Sassi 24 Tunisia TUN
17T Saleh Khoulef 29 Egypt EGY
17T Faisal Karim 22 Pakistan PAK
17T Vijender Singh 18 India IND
17T Patriz López 27 Venezuela VEN
17T Kitson Julie 21 Seychelles SEY