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Harry Thomas

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameAlbert Henry "Harry"•Thomas
Used nameHarry•Thomas
Born1 July 1888 in Kings Norton, West Midlands, England (GBR)
Died13 January 1963 in New York, New York (USA)
AffiliationsBirmingham ABC, Birmingham (GBR)
NOC Great Britain

Biography

Within six months of taking up boxing, Harry Thomas of Birmingham BC was the Midlands bantamweight champion. After winning the 1908 ABA title, he reached that year’s Olympic bantamweight final by defeating the Scottish champion, Frank McGurk, and the drawing a bye in the semi-finals. His opponent, Johnny Condon of Lynn AC, qualified for the final with a KO against the only foreign entrant in the division, Pierre Mazior of France, and then survived a hard semi-final against Wally Webb of St. Pancras BC. The rules of the 1908 Games provided that any boxer drawing a bye shall be bound to spar for the specified time with any opponent approved by the judges and referee. There is no evidence as to whether this condition was imposed on Thomas but he certainly entered the ring as the fresher of the two finalists. Condon, who was not noted for his aggression, surprisingly carried the fight to his opponent but after a grueling contest it was Thomas who got the verdict. Although Great Britain won all five boxing gold medals at the 1908 Games, Thomas was the only reigning ABA champion to succeed in winning an Olympic title. Harry Thomas turned professional in 1909 and, although he never fought for the British title, he produced some impressive performances and when he went to settle in America early in 1911 he took with him an unbeaten record. Apart from 1913, when he fought seven times in Australia, all his remaining fights were in the USA. Thomas retired from boxing in 1916 and became an American citizen. Following America’s entry into the war in 1917 he served in the US Navy. He had six brothers, all of who also served in the war with the British forces, his eldest brother, Bill, winning the DCM. Harry Thomas paid a final visit to his home town of Birmingham in 1947 but then returned to America where he subsequently died.

Professional Record: W – 21 (KO 2); L – 13 (KO by 1); D – 2.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Boxing GBR Harry Thomas
Bantamweight, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold