During the 1950s Francisc Horvath was Romania’s premier Greco-Roman wrestler and won a total of eight national titles. His first major international appearance came at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, where he competed in the featherweight division. There, he lost successively by decision against Sweden’s Gunnar Håkansson and Poland’s Ernest Gondzik and was eliminated. After coming in sixth as a featherweight at the 1955 World Championships, he switched to bantamweight for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. In the opening round he defeated Konstantin Vyrupayev of the Soviet Union, who would go on to win the gold medal in the event, and then went on to best Joe Sweeney of Australia, Reijo Nykänen of Finland and Fred Kämmerer of (East) Germany. He then lost by decision against Sweden’s Edvin Vesterby, but in doing so earned a bronze medal.