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| Event type

Featherweight (≤57 kilograms), Men

Date28 July – 2 August 1952
StatusOlympic
LocationMessuhalli I, Helsinki
Participants30 from 30 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

The featherweight division was the most closely contested at the Helsinki Olympics with over a third of the bouts being decided by a split decision of the judges. The man who survived the action unscathed was 23-year-old university student Ján Zachara of Czechoslovakia. Zachara survived three successive fights from quarter-final onwards when one of the judges decided he had lost whilst the other two declared him the victor. He seemed especially lucky to defeat European champion Joseph Ventaja in a hotly disputed semi-final bout. Zachara, a locksmith by profession, won the gold by defeating Sergio Caprari of Italy. This was the only major tournament title for the Slovakian Zachara who returned to unsuccessfully defend his title in 1956.

PosBoxerNOC
1Ján ZacharaTCHGold
2Sergio CaprariITASilver
=3Joseph VentajaFRABronze
=3Len LeischingRSABronze
=5Len WaltersCAN
=5Lech DrogoszPOL
=5János ErdeiHUN
=5Edson BrownUSA
=9Pentti NiinivuoriFIN
=9Pedro GalassoBRA
=9Gheorghe IlieROU
=9Sydney GrevePAK
=9Willi RothGER
=9Stevan RedliYUG
=9Kurt SchirraSAA
=9Seo Byeong-RanKOR
=17Nyein Nil BaMYA
=17Toshihito IshimaruJPN
=17Benoy BoseIND
=17Percy LewisGBR
=17Yury SokolovURS
=17Ángel LeyesARG
=17Salah AbbasEGY
=17Don McDonnellAUS
=17Emanoul AghasiIRI
=17Tommy ReddyIRL
=17Georgi MalezanovBUL
=17Luis ArangurenVEN
=17Åke WärnströmSWE
=17Alfred WillommetSUI
DNSHenry JayasuriyaSRI
DNSPierre RichaudFRA
DNSPeter BranderGBR
DNSBobby BickleUSA
DNSTaisto TuominenFIN

Round One (28 July 1952)

Winner of each match advanced to the second round.

Match #1 Sergio CaprariITA Bye
Match #2 Pentti NiinivuoriFIN Bye
Match #3 Lech DrogoszPOL Nyein Nil BaMYA Decision (3 - 0)
Match #4 Pedro GalassoBRA Toshihito IshimaruJPN Decision (3 - 0)
Match #5 Edson BrownUSA Benoy BoseIND Decision (3 - 0)
Match #6 Gheorghe IlieROU Percy LewisGBR Decision (2 - 1)
Match #7 Joseph VentajaFRA Yury SokolovURS Decision (2 - 1)
Match #8 Sydney GrevePAK Ángel LeyesARG Knock Out (Round 2)
Match #9 Len WaltersCAN Salah AbbasEGY Decision (3 - 0)
Match #10 Willi RothGER Don McDonnellAUS Decision (2 - 1)
Match #11 Len LeischingRSA Emanoul AghasiIRI Decision (3 - 0)
Match #12 Stevan RedliYUG Tommy ReddyIRL Referee Stops Contest (Round 2)
Match #13 János ErdeiHUN Georgi MalezanovBUL Decision (2 - 1)
Match #14 Kurt SchirraSAA Luis ArangurenVEN Decision (2 - 1)
Match #15 Ján ZacharaTCH Åke WärnströmSWE Decision (3 - 0)
Match #16 Seo Byeong-RanKOR Alfred WillommetSUI Decision (3 - 0)

Round Two (29 – 30 July 1952)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Sergio CaprariITA Pentti NiinivuoriFIN Decision (2 - 1)
Match #2 Lech DrogoszPOL Pedro GalassoBRA Decision (3 - 0)
Match #3 Edson BrownUSA Gheorghe IlieROU Decision (3 - 0)
Match #4 Joseph VentajaFRA Sydney GrevePAK Decision (3 - 0)
Match #5 Len WaltersCAN Willi RothGER Decision (2 - 1)
Match #6 Len LeischingRSA Stevan RedliYUG Decision (3 - 0)
Match #7 János ErdeiHUN Kurt SchirraSAA Decision (3 - 0)
Match #8 Ján ZacharaTCH Seo Byeong-RanKOR Decision (3 - 0)

Quarter-Finals (31 July 1952)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Len LeischingRSA Len WaltersCAN Decision (3 - 0)
Match #2 Sergio CaprariITA Lech DrogoszPOL Decision (3 - 0)
Match #3 Ján ZacharaTCH János ErdeiHUN Decision (2 - 1)
Match #4 Joseph VentajaFRA Edson BrownUSA Decision (3 - 0)

Semi-Finals (1 August 1952)

Winner of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Sergio CaprariITA Joseph VentajaFRA Decision (2 - 1)
Match #2 Ján ZacharaTCH Len LeischingRSA Decision (2 - 1)

Final Round (2 August 1952)

Match 1/2 Ján ZacharaTCH Sergio CaprariITA Decision (2 - 1)