Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing Workers' Gymnasium, Beijing
Date Started: August 12, 2008
Date Finished: August 24, 2008
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Bronze:|| Bruno Julie
The best known amateur bantamweight of the 21st century was Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux, the 2001 and 2005 World Champion. But Cuba had been hit with a series of defections in the past few years and Rigondeaux unsuccessfully attempted to do so at the 2007 Pan American Games and he was removed from the national team. In his absence the 2007 Worlds were won by Russian Sergey Vodopyanov. But he lasted only one match in Beijing, losing in round two to the 2006 Commonwealth Games champion Akhil Kumar of India in a tie-breaking decision. With Vodopyanov out, the 2007 World silver medalist Enkhbatyn Badar-Uugan of Mongolia was favored. He made it to the final with a close semi-final win over Mauritian Bruno Julie, who became the first Olympic medalist from that small African island nation.
The final was not close, with Badar-Uugan pounding Cuba's new representative in this class, Yankiel León, winning a 16-5 decision. Prior to 2008 Mongolia had the unusual distinction as the nation with the most Olympic medals (15), but no gold medals. This streak had been stopped earlier in the Beijing Olympics by judoka Naidangiin Tüvshinbayar, but Badar-Uugan added Mongolia's second Olympic gold medal and first in boxing. Two Mongolians had won Olympic boxing medals previously, Nergüin Enkhbat in 1988 and Namjilyn Bayarsaikhan in 1992, both in the lightweight division, and earlier on the same day in 2008, Pürevdorjin Serdamba had won silver as a light-flyweight.
|9T||Han Sun-Cheol||23||South Korea||KOR|
|9T||John Joe Nevin||19||Ireland||IRL|
|17T||Joe Murray||21||Great Britain||GBR|
|17T||McJoe Arroyo||22||Puerto Rico||PUR|
|DNS||Gary Russell, Jr.||20||United States||USA|