| Event type

Bantamweight (≤54 kilograms), Men

Date28 July – 2 August 1952
LocationMessuhalli I, Helsinki
Participants23 from 23 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

Home boxer Pentti Hämäläinen was not unknown at the time of the 1952 Olympics since he was a bronze medallist at the previous year’s European Championships, but there were other boxers who were more favoured to make an impression in Helsinki than the Finnish mechanic.

The Finn, inspired by the support of the home crowd, boxed beautifully to reach the final where he faced Ireland’s first ever Olympic boxing finalist in the shape of Ulsterman John McNally. The Hämäläinen-McNally fight was a clash of styles with the Finn, the shorter man, attempting to crowd the taller, more mobile Irishman. Although the decision in favour of Hämäläinen was hugely popular inside the arena the Irish team were convinced their man had been harshly treated by the judges who split 2-1 against McNally.

Hämäläinen returned to the Olympics in 1956 to win a bronze medal before embarking on a professional career which petered out quickly. The boxer that later went on to gain the most fame, albeit in a tragic way, was American Davey Moore. He may only have been a quarter-finalist in Helsinki but he went to a glittering career as a professional and had a four-year reign as world featherweight champion. In 1963 he defended his title on live television against Sugar Ramos of Mexico. In the 8th round he was knocked down and in the process of falling struck his head against the bottom rope and suffered a brain stem injury. He fought on for a few rounds before the referee stopped but later collapsed in his dressing room. Moore slipped into a coma and died a few days later. His story was immortalised in the Bob Dylan song )Who Killed Davey Moore).

1Pentti HämäläinenFINGold
2John McNallyIRLSilver
=3Gang Jun-HoKORBronze
=3Gennady GarbuzovURSBronze
=5František MajdlochTCH
=5Davey MooreUSA
=5Lennie von GraevenitzRSA
=5Vincenzo Dall'OssoITA
=9Fazlolah NickhahIRI
=9Egon SchidanGER
=9Ibrahim AbdrabbouEGY
=9Alejandro OrtuostePHI
=9Ángel FigueroaPUR
=9Raúl MacíasMEX
=9Henryk NiedźwiedzkiPOL
=9Ion ZlătaruROU
=17Tiến VìnhVNM
=17Ángel AmayaVEN
=17Jean RenardBEL
=17Tommy NichollsGBR
=17Ron GowerAUS
=17Antoine MartinFRA
=17Rómulo ParésARG
DNSCarlos SerranoGUA
DNSIstván HorváthHUN
DNSI. SzilágyiHUN
DNSBoris StepanovURS
DNSZenon StefaniukPOL
DNSBasil ThompsonMYA
DNSHilaire PratesiFRA
DNSHenry JayasuriyaSRI
DNSVeikko AhvenainenFIN

Round One

Date28 July 1952
FormatWinner of each match advanced to the second round.
Match #128 JulFazlolah NickhahIRI
Match #228 JulGang Jun-HoKOR
Match #328 JulDavey MooreUSA
Match #428 JulEgon SchidanGER
Match #528 JulVincenzo Dall'OssoITA
Match #628 JulIbrahim AbdrabbouEGY
Match #728 JulAlejandro OrtuostePHI
Match #828 JulJohn McNallyIRL
Match #928 JulFrantišek MajdlochTCH
Match #1028 JulÁngel FigueroaPURDecisionTiến VìnhVNM
Match #1128 JulRaúl MacíasMEXDecisionÁngel AmayaVEN
Match #1228 JulGennady GarbuzovURSDecisionJean RenardBEL
Match #1328 JulPentti HämäläinenFINDecisionTommy NichollsGBR
Match #1428 JulHenryk NiedźwiedzkiPOLReferee stops contestRon GowerAUS
Match #1528 JulIon ZlătaruROUDisqualifiedAntoine MartinFRA
Match #1628 JulLennie von GraevenitzRSADecisionRómulo ParésARG

Round Two

Date29 – 30 July 1952
FormatWinner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.
Match #1Gang Jun-HoKORDecisionFazlolah NickhahIRI
Match #2Davey MooreUSADecisionEgon SchidanGER
Match #3Vincenzo Dall'OssoITADecisionIbrahim AbdrabbouEGY
Match #4John McNallyIRLDecisionAlejandro OrtuostePHI
Match #5František MajdlochTCHDecisionÁngel FigueroaPUR
Match #6Gennady GarbuzovURSDecisionRaúl MacíasMEX
Match #7Pentti HämäläinenFINDecisionHenryk NiedźwiedzkiPOL
Match #8Lennie von GraevenitzRSADecisionIon ZlătaruROU


Date31 July 1952
FormatWinner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.
Match #131 JulGennady GarbuzovURSDecisionFrantišek MajdlochTCH
Match #231 JulGang Jun-HoKORDecisionDavey MooreUSA
Match #331 JulPentti HämäläinenFINDecisionLennie von GraevenitzRSA
Match #431 JulJohn McNallyIRLDecisionVincenzo Dall'OssoITA


Date1 August 1952
FormatWinner of each match advanced to the final match.
Match #101 AugJohn McNallyIRLDecisionGang Jun-HoKOR
Match #201 AugPentti HämäläinenFINDecisionGennady GarbuzovURS

Final Round

Date2 August 1952
Match 1/202 AugPentti HämäläinenFINDecisionJohn McNallyIRL