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Bantamweight (≤118 pounds), Men

Date9 – 13 August 1932
StatusOlympic
LocationGrand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Participants10 from 10 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

All three of the 1930 European Championship medallists were present in Los Angeles, Ziglarski of Germany, the Italian Melis and France’s Paul Nicolas. Along with home fighter Joseph Lang they were considered strong medal candidates.

Canadian Horace “Lefty” Gwynne was another who impressed in the year before the Games and was the possessor of a vicious left hook that gave him his nickname. In the last eight Gwynne defeated Melis with surprising ease, dumping him on the canvas in the second round thanks to a right hook and generally punching him around the ring. If anything, his victory over José Luis Villanueva of the Philippines in the semi-finals was even more decisive, although Villanueva at least had the satisfaction of staying on his feet throughout. Ziglarski of Germany came through the other half of the draw, the American Joseph Lang losing out in the semi-final.

The much anticipated final turned out to be a mismatch, Gwynne won the first round and in the second produced a left-right combination that floored the German for a two-count. By the end of the third round, there was no doubt who was the victor and the Canadian, who had emerged as a favourite with fans, was credited with an overwhelming points victory. The legendary writer Damon Runyan, who was present at ringside, remarked “Of all the Olympic champions, I like this kid Gwynne the best”.

Gwynne’s English born father had returned to his native country to fight in World War I and it was there that Horace began boxing, fighting exhibitions with his brother to entertain British army troops when they were just four and six respectively. Turning professional after the Games, he had 40 pro fights and became Canadian bantamweight champion before the lack of big money fights for fighters in the lighter weights forced him into retirement. He later became a jockey’s agent where he earned himself another nickname, “10% Gwynne”; from the share he demanded from his clients earnings.

PosBoxerNOC
1Lefty GwynneCANGold
2Hans ZiglarskiGERSilver
3José Luis VillanuevaPHIBronze
4Joseph LangUSA
=5Vito MelisITA
=5Akira NakaoJPN
=5Paul NicolasFRA
=5Carlos PereyraARG
=9Sabino TiradoMEX
=9Paddy HughesIRL

Round One (9 August 1932)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Lefty GwynneCAN
Match #2 Vito MelisITA
Match #3 José Luis VillanuevaPHI
Match #4 Akira NakaoJPN
Match #5 Hans ZiglarskiGER
Match #6 Paul NicolasFRA
Match #7 Joseph LangUSA Sabino TiradoMEX Decision (– - –)
Match #8 Carlos PereyraARG Paddy HughesIRL Decision (– - –)

Quarter-Finals (10 August 1932)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Lefty GwynneCAN Vito MelisITA Decision (– - –)
Match #2 José Luis VillanuevaPHI Akira NakaoJPN Decision (– - –)
Match #3 Hans ZiglarskiGER Paul NicolasFRA Decision (– - –)
Match #4 Joseph LangUSA Carlos PereyraARG Walkover

Semi-Finals (11 August 1932)

Winner of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Lefty GwynneCAN José Luis VillanuevaPHI Decision (– - –)
Match #2 Hans ZiglarskiGER Joseph LangUSA Decision (– - –)

Final Round (13 August 1932)

Match 1/2 Lefty GwynneCAN Hans ZiglarskiGER Decision (– - –)
Match 3/4 José Luis VillanuevaPHI Joseph LangUSA Decision (– - –)