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Boxing at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's Light-Middleweight

Boxing at the 1988 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Jamsil Students' Gymnasium, Seoul Sports Complex, Seoul
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: October 2, 1988
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: KOR Park Si-Heon
Silver: USA Roy Jones, Jr.
Bronze: CAN Ray Downey
GBR Richie Woodhall


Before the events of the final there had already been some controversy concerning the progress of South Korea's [Park Si-Heon] into the final. Park had already been lucky to avoid disqualification in his opening bout against [Abdullah Ramadan] of Sudan before he began a run of three close and controversial points decisions. In particular his quarter-final victory against Italy's [Vincenzo Nardiello] drew criticism as most impartial observers believed the Italian was a deserving winner.

In contrast [Roy Jones, Jr.] had strolled past his opposition with a knockout and three decisive points decisions. His showboating style may have given offence for its' supposed lack of respect for his opponents but none could deny his talent.

For the three rounds of the final, Jones appeared in complete control and most observers viewed the fight as a complete shutout for the American. The computer punch count recorded that Jones had landed nearly three times as many punches as Park (86-32). When the result was announced it was revealed that the Soviet and Hungarian judges had awarded the fight to Jones by four point margins but the other three had voted for the Korean. The decision was widely condemned as one of the worst in Olympic history and directly led to the introduction of electronic punch counters at the 1992 Olympic Games.

In 1997 the International Amateur Boxing Federation presented the IOC with information concerning allegations that some of the judges had received bribes at the 1988 Olympics. The IOC concluded that the charges were not proven. Unusually for a non-Olympic champion, Jones was awarded the Val Barker Trophy for best boxer of the Games.

Jones used the publicity gained in Seoul to start a lucrative career in the professional and emerged as one of the greatest boxers of the end of the 20th century. He won world titles at four different weights and became the first man for more than a century to win the world championship at middleweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Park Si-Heon 22 South Korea KOR Gold
2 Roy Jones, Jr. 19 United States USA Silver
3T Richie Woodhall 20 Great Britain GBR Bronze
3T Ray Downey 19 Canada CAN Bronze
5T Rey Rivera 22 Puerto Rico PUR
5T Yevgeny Zaytsev 23 Soviet Union URS
5T Vincenzo Nardiello 22 Italy ITA
5T Martin Kitel 22 Sweden SWE
9T Peter Silva 24 Brazil BRA
9T Apolinário de Silveira 23 Angola ANG
9T Michal Franek 21 Czechoslovakia TCH
9T Sounaila Sagnon 22 Burkina Faso BUR
9T Torsten Schmitz 24 East Germany GDR
9T Quinn Paynter 27 Bermuda BER
9T Laurensio Mercado 21 Ecuador ECU
9T Abrar Hussain Syed 23 Pakistan PAK
17T Charles Mahlalela 26 Swaziland SWZ
17T George Allison 23 Guyana GUY
17T Desmond Williams 21 Sierra Leone SLE
17T Mohamad Orungi 25 Kenya KEN
17T M'tendere Makalamba 22 Malawi MAW
17T Gary Smikle 22 Jamaica JAM
17T John Boscoe Waigo 21 Uganda UGA
17T Abdullah Ramadan 21 Sudan SUD
17T Angel Stoyanov 21 Bulgaria BUL
17T Johnny de Lima 24 Denmark DEN
17T Likou Aliu 26 Samoa SAM
17T Ncholu Monontsi 25 Lesotho LES
17T Wabanko Banko 28 Congo (Kinshasa) COD
17T Norbert Nieroba 24 West Germany FRG
17T François Mayo 21 Cameroon CMR
32T Emmanuel Quaye 23 Ghana GHA
32T Jorge Oscar López 28 Argentina ARG
32T Garth Felix 21 Grenada GRN
32T Noureddine Meziane 25 Algeria ALG
32T Moussa Wiawindi 21 Central African Republic CAF