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Boxing at the 1960 Roma Summer Games

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Host City: Roma, Italy
Date Started: August 25, 1960
Date Finished: September 5, 1960
Events: 10

Participants: 281 (281 men and 0 women) from 54 countries
Youngest Participant: RSA William Meyers (17 years, 35 days)
Oldest Participant: UGA Frank Kisekka (33 years, 247 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 40 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): POL Poland and ITA Italy (7 medals)


Although many Rome events were held in ancient arenas, the 1960 boxing competition was held at the [Palazzo dello Sport], a new stadium constructed for the Rome Olympics in the Piazza Apollodoro. There was no change to the 1960 Olympic boxing program, with the same 10 classes that had been contested at Helsinki in 1952 and Melbourne in 1956. The scoring system in 1960 was also slightly new, as there were now five judges instead of three as at previous Olympics.

The host team Italians won three titles, highlighted by the welterweight titlist, [Nino Benvenuti], later a professional world champion, and the most heralded crown, the heavyweight gold medal, won by [Franco De Piccoli]. The United States’s boxers also won three gold medals.

But the biggest news of the 1960 Olympic boxing tournament came in the light-heavyweight division (≤ 81 kg), which was won by a young 18-year-old American with the wonderfully Ancient Roman name of [Cassius Marcellus Clay]. By 1964, as he grew into his 187 cm (6-3) body, Clay had moved up to the heavyweight class and would win the world heavyweight professional title in a bout against Sonny Liston. He would soon thereafter take the Muslim name of Muhammad Ali and become one of the most famous athletes of the 20th century.