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.
|Bronze:|| Boris Georgiev
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.
|5T||Michele Di Rocco||22||Italy||ITA|
|9T||Alessandro de Matos||23||Brazil||BRA|
|9T||Rock Allen||22||United States||USA|
|17T||Isidro Mosquea||27||Dominican Republic||DOM|
|17T||Mohamed Ali Sassi||24||Tunisia||TUN|