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Boxing at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's Middleweight

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Northampton Institute, Clerkenwell
Date Started: October 27, 1908
Date Finished: October 27, 1908
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: GBR John Douglas
Silver: ANZ Snowy Baker
Bronze: GBR William Philo


This class produced the bext boxing of the day, with three Frenchman and the Australian, [Reginald "Snowy" Baker], contesting the title against six British boxers. The last four ABA Champions were present - [John Douglas] (1905), [Arthur Murdoch] (1906), [Rube Warnes] (1907 and 1910), and [William Childs] (1908-09, and 1911).

The final came down to Douglas and Baker, and was described as the best match of the tournament. The first round was even. Douglas knocked Baker down in round two, but he continued in a closely fought battle. However, Douglas hung on in round three to win on points. Douglas was presented his gold medal by his father, who was then the President of the ABA. John Douglas, the son, was actually better known as a cricketer and later captained Essex County and England teams. He and his father died tragically in a sea disaster returning from Finland in December 1930.

Snowy Baker is the greatest all-around athlete ever produced by Australia. He competed at the 1908 Olympics in boxing, diving, and swimming. In addition to those three sports, he represented Australia at the international level in rugby union and water polo. He was also state or national caliber in cricket, track & field athletics, and rowing. In December 1908, he was appointed referee for the Jack Johnson vs. Tommy Burns heavyweight professional bout, which was held in Sydney, but Johnson objected to Baker's snow-white hair (hence his nickname), and he was replaced. Baker later became a movie star and stuntman.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 John Douglas 25 Great Britain GBR Gold
2 Snowy Baker 24 Australasia ANZ Silver
3 William Philo 26 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Rube Warnes 32 Great Britain GBR
5 William Childs Great Britain GBR
6T Arthur Murdoch Great Britain GBR
6T Charles Morard France FRA
6T René Doudelle France FRA
6T Gaston Aspa 27 France FRA
6T William Dees Great Britain GBR