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Boxing at the 1948 London Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Date Started: August 9, 1948
Date Finished: August 13, 1948
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: RSA Gerald Dreyer
Silver: BEL Jos Vissers
Bronze: DEN Svend Vad


With an outstanding American in [Wallace “Bud” Smith] and a strong challenge from a number of European fighters the lightweight division was not short of quality. Belgium’s [Jos Vissers] won the European Championships in 1947 whilst the wiry Dane, [Svend Vad] , had won the bronze medal. Ireland’s [Maxie McCullagh] was also reckoned to be a prospect for honours.

All the major challengers reached the quarter-finals where Wad had the better of McCullagh and Visser struggled before edging Canada’s Haddad in a contest which many thought the Canadian deserved to win. Bud Smith had been the most impressive fighter in the tournament but a much improved Visser edged their semi-final and was joined in the final by the South African teenager, [Gerard Dreyer]. Dreyer had surprised Wad in the semi-final and continued to impress in the final. Visser played the aggressor but Dreyer’s solid defence held sway until a momentary lapse from the Belgian left him open to a left hook. Although Visser recovered from the second round knockdown, the course of the fight was decided and Dreyer took the gold for South Africa.

Bud Smith became world lightweight champion in 1955 and held the title for over a year. He retired with a career record of 31 wins from 60 fights although a run of 11 losses at the end of his career distorts that record slightly. Smith was shot and killed in 1973 whilst in conversation with a woman who was the intended target of the gunman. Dreyer and Vad also enjoyed success as professionals but not to the same extent as Smith.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundSemi-FinalsQuarter-FinalsRound TwoRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Gerald Dreyer 18 South Africa RSA Gold
2 Jos Vissers 19 Belgium BEL Silver
3 Svend Vad 20 Denmark DEN Bronze
4 Bud Smith 19 United States USA
5T Øivind Breiby 30 Norway NOR
5T Maxie McCullagh 26 Ireland IRL
5T Raúl Zumbano 22 Brazil BRA
5T Eddie Haddad 20 Canada CAN
9T Ernesto Porto 19 Philippines PHI
9T Gang In-Seok 21 South Korea KOR
9T Ron Cooper 20 Great Britain GBR
9T Alberto Boullossa Uruguay URU
9T Auguste Caulet 21 France FRA
9T Manuel López Argentina ARG
9T Eddie Gray 29 Sri Lanka SRI
9T Edy Schmidiger Switzerland SUI
17T Tauno Rinkinen 24 Finland FIN
17T Jan Remie 24 Netherlands NED
17T Gene Raymond 29 India IND
17T Agustín Argote 22 Spain ESP
17T Fränz Ehringer 19 Luxembourg LUX
17T Mario Minatelli 23 Italy ITA
17T Eduardo Cornejo Chile CHI
17T Masoud Rahimiha Iran IRI
17T Ezz El-Din Nasir Egypt EGY
17T Alois Petřina Czechoslovakia TCH
17T Billy Barber Australia AUS