| Event type

Light-Heavyweight (≤81 kilograms), Men

Date29 July – 2 August 1952
LocationMessuhalli I, Helsinki
Participants18 from 18 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

Norvel Lee was taken to Helsinki as America’s reserve in the heavyweight division, the same as he had been in 1948, after losing to Ed Sanders in the final of the US Olympic trials. After arriving in Finland he was persuaded by team official to shed the necessary weight and fight as a light-heavyweight. Lee impressed in training and was given the US berth in his new division.

This proved a masterstroke by the US officials as Lee proved to be the outstanding boxer in any of the weight divisions in Helsinki and was a worthy winner of the Val Barker Trophy for the best boxer at the Games. Lee was a graduate of Howard University and did not follow the usual career path for an American Olympic boxing champion and refused to turn professional. Instead he spent a lifetime working in adult education whilst also moonlighting as a judge in professional boxing.

A second round loser was Britain’s Henry Cooper. After a long career where he was multiple British and European champion, he became the first boxer ever to be awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

1Norvel LeeUSAGold
2Antonio PacenzaARGSilver
=3Harry SiljanderFINBronze
=3Anatoly PerovURSBronze
=5Tadeusz GrzelakPOL
=5Gianbattista AlfonsettiITA
=5Karl KistnerGER
=5El TigreBRA
=9Henry CooperGBR
=9Mohamed El-MinabawiEGY
=9Rolf StormSWE
=9Bjarne LingåsNOR
=9Franz PfitscherAUT
=9Claude ArnaizFRA
=9Dumitru CiobotaruROU
=9Toon PastorNED
=17István FazekasHUN
=17Oscar WardIND
DNSJ. OppolzerAUT
DNSRussell BranderAUS
DNSYury YegorovURS
DNSChuck SpieserUSA
DNSRinaldo AnsaloniARG

Round One (29 July 1952)

Winner of each match advanced to the second round.

Match #1 Henry CooperGBR Bye
Match #2 Anatoly PerovURS Bye
Match #3 Mohamed El-MinabawiEGY Bye
Match #4 Gianbattista AlfonsettiITA Bye
Match #5 Rolf StormSWE Bye
Match #6 Antonio PacenzaARG Bye
Match #7 Bjarne LingåsNOR Bye
Match #8 El TigreBRA Bye
Match #9 Franz PfitscherAUT Bye
Match #10 Tadeusz GrzelakPOL Bye
Match #11 Norvel LeeUSA Bye
Match #12 Claude ArnaizFRA Bye
Match #13 Harry SiljanderFIN Bye
Match #14 Dumitru CiobotaruROU Bye
Match #15 Toon PastorNED István FazekasHUN Decision (3 - 0)
Match #16 Karl KistnerGER Oscar WardIND Knock Out (Round 2)

Round Two (29 – 30 July 1952)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Anatoly PerovURS Henry CooperGBR Decision (2 - 1)
Match #2 Gianbattista AlfonsettiITA Mohamed El-MinabawiEGY Disqualified (Round 3)
Match #3 Antonio PacenzaARG Rolf StormSWE Decision (2 - 1)
Match #4 El TigreBRA Bjarne LingåsNOR Decision (2 - 1)
Match #5 Tadeusz GrzelakPOL Franz PfitscherAUT Decision (3 - 0)
Match #6 Norvel LeeUSA Claude ArnaizFRA Decision (3 - 0)
Match #7 Harry SiljanderFIN Dumitru CiobotaruROU Decision (2 - 1)
Match #8 Karl KistnerGER Toon PastorNED Decision (2 - 1)

Quarter-Finals (31 July 1952)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Norvel LeeUSA Tadeusz GrzelakPOL Decision (3 - 0)
Match #2 Anatoly PerovURS Gianbattista AlfonsettiITA Decision (3 - 0)
Match #3 Harry SiljanderFIN Karl KistnerGER Decision (2 - 1)
Match #4 Antonio PacenzaARG El TigreBRA Decision (3 - 0)

Semi-Finals (1 August 1952)

Winner of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Norvel LeeUSA Harry SiljanderFIN Decision (3 - 0)
Match #2 Antonio PacenzaARG Anatoly PerovURS Decision (3 - 0)

Final Round (2 August 1952)

Match 1/2 Norvel LeeUSA Antonio PacenzaARG Decision (3 - 0)