Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 9, 1932
Date Finished: August 13, 1932
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Bronze:||José Luis Villanueva|
All three of the 1930 European Championship medallists were present in Los Angeles, Ziglarski of Germany, the Italian Melis and France’s Paul Nicolas. Along with home fighter Joseph Lang they were considered strong medal candidates.
Canadian Horace “Lefty” Gwynne was another who impressed in the year before the Games and was the possessor of a vicious left hook that gave him his nickname. In the last eight Gwynne defeated Melis with surprising ease, dumping him on the canvas in the second round thanks to a right hook and generally punching him around the ring. If anything, his victory over José Luis Villanueva of the Philippines in the semi-finals was even more decisive, although Villanueva at least had the satisfaction of staying on his feet throughout. Ziglarski of Germany came through the other half of the draw, the American Joseph Lang losing out in the semi-final.
The much anticipated final turned out to be a mismatch, Gwynne won the first round and in the second produced a left-right combination that floored the German for a two-count. By the end of the third round, there was no doubt who was the victor and the Canadian, who had emerged as a favourite with fans, was credited with an overwhelming points victory. The legendary writer Damon Runyan, who was present at ringside, remarked “Of all the Olympic champions, I like this kid Gwynne the best”.
Gwynne’s English born father had returned to his native country to fight in World War I and it was there that Horace began boxing, fighting exhibitions with his brother to entertain British army troops when they were just four and six respectively. Turning professional after the Games, he had 40 pro fights and became Canadian bantamweight champion before the lack of big money fights for fighters in the lighter weights forced him into retirement. He later became a jockey’s agent where he earned himself another nickname, “10% Gwynne”; from the share he demanded from his clients earnings.
|3||José Luis Villanueva||19||Philippines||PHI||Bronze|
|4||Joseph Lang||21||United States||USA|