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Boxing at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: August 2, 1980
Events: 11

Participants: 271 (271 men and 0 women) from 51 countries
Youngest Participant: UGA Charles Lubulwa (15 years, 206 days)
Oldest Participant: NGR Nureni Gbadamosi (32 years, 208 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 44 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): CUB Cuba (10 medals)


The American-led boycott cost the 1980 Olympics the US boxing team, although it is uncertain if that would have made much of a difference. Cuba absolutely dominated the competition in 1980, winning fully half – six – of the gold medals, and medals in 10 of the 11 weight classes, missing only the flyweights, where defending champion [Jorge Hernández] lost his second-round bout to eventual silver medalist [Viktor Miroshnychenko] of the USSR. Cuba was led by their heavyweight, [Teófilo Stevenson], who became only the second boxer, after Hungary’s [László Papp] (1948-56), to win three boxing gold medals. The host Soviets also won eight medals, but only one of them a gold, as Communist nations garnered 38 of the 44 available medals, with East Germany taking six medals and Poland five, but the Val Barker Trophy went to the only gold medalist from a non-Communist nation, Italian [Patrizio Oliva], winner of the light-welterweight class.

The 1980 boxing tournament was held at the Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex, or Indoor Stadium, a huge indoor arena constructed for the 1980 Olympics. It was split into two sections, with basketball held in one part, and boxing in the other. Combined, the arena could hold up to 80,000 spectators, although the 1980 boxing section held less than 16,000. There were 11 classes contested in 1980, the same schedule as since 1968, but in 1984, an additional heavy class would be added. Termed cruiserweight in the professional ranks, it would be called the heavyweight class at the Olympics, with the heaviest class being called the super-heavyweights.