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Boxing at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's Heavyweight

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Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Jamsil Students' Gymnasium, Seoul Sports Complex, Seoul
Date Started: September 22, 1988
Date Finished: October 1, 1988
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: USA Ray Mercer
Silver: KOR Baek Hyeon-Man
Bronze: NED Arnold Vanderlijde
POL Andrzej Gołota


The new star of amateur boxing in the heavyweight class was [Félix Savón] but, due to his nation's boycott of the 1988 Olympics, he would have to wait another four years for his first Olympic appearance.

Although it was impossible to know at the time [Ray Mercer]'s qualification for the US team by beating two future world professional heavyweight champions in Michael Bent and Tommy Morrison was impressive, perhaps even more impressive than his run of four successive knockout victories that won him the gold medal in Seoul. Only one of his opponents lasted into the final round and his opponent in the final, [Baek Hyeon-Man] of the host nation, was bombed out in the first round.

Mercer, who did not take up boxing until his early 20s, followed in the tradition of American Olympic heavyweights by turning professional. He won the WBO world heavyweight title by defeating [Francesco Damiani] in early 1991 but relinquished the title within a year and failed in an attempt the title a decade later.

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

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Ray Mercer 27 United States USA Gold
2 Baek Hyeon-Man 24 South Korea KOR Silver
3T Andrzej Gołota 20 Poland POL Bronze
3T Arnold Vanderlijde 25 Netherlands NED Bronze
5T Maik Heydeck 23 East Germany GDR
5T Harold Obunga 28 Kenya KEN
5T Luigi Gaudiano 23 Italy ITA
5T Gyula Alvics 28 Hungary HUN
9T Juan Antonio Díaz 27 Argentina ARG
9T Željko Mavrović 19 Yugoslavia YUG
9T Svilen Rusinov 24 Bulgaria BUL
9T Tualau Fale 27 Tonga TGA
9T Ramzan Sebiyev 18 Soviet Union URS
9T Rudolf Gavenčiak 23 Czechoslovakia TCH
9T Henry Akinwande 22 Great Britain GBR
9T Tom Glesby 19 Canada CAN
17T Claus Børge Nielsen 26 Denmark DEN
17T José Ortega 24 Spain ESP