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| Event type

Lightweight (≤60 kilograms), Men

Date23 November – 1 December 1956
StatusOlympic
LocationWest Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants18 from 18 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

The revelation of the 1956 Olympic boxing tournament was a 21-year-old Scotsman who was doing his compulsory military service in the Royal Air Force. Dick McTaggart had a reputation at home for being a skillful and elusive boxer but before leaving for Melbourne he had not transferred this to the international stage. After three relatively easy victories McTaggart found himself facing European champion, Harry Kurschat of Germany, in the Olympic final. Kurschat was perhaps a little lucky to have progressed from the semi-final by winning an unpopular split decision victory over Ireland’s Tony Byrne but his luck ran out against McTaggart and it was the Briton who had his hand raised in victory at the end of the three rounds.

McTaggart’s performance earned him the Val Barker Trophy as the most stylish boxer of the Games and a hero’s welcome in his hometown of Dundee. An eye defect robbed him of the opportunity to turn professional and he would twice return to the Olympic arena, winning bronze in 1960 and going out early in 1964. One notable boxer to miss these Games was Darweesh Mustafa Nassim who had won a silver medal for Egypt at the 1955 European Championships. The Suez crisis made his participation impossible.

PosBoxerNOC
1Dick McTaggartGBRGold
2Harry KurschatGERSilver
=3Tony ByrneIRLBronze
=3Anatoly LagetkoURSBronze
=5Zygmunt MilewskiPOL
=5Louis MolinaUSA
=5André VairolattoFRA
=5Ed BeattieCAN
=9Pentti NiinivuoriFIN
=9Celedonio EspinosaPHI
=9Billy GriffithsAUS
=9Josef ChovanecTCH
=9Baek Do-SeonKOR
=9Chandrasena JayasuriyaSRI
=9Seeb ChundakowsolyaTHA
=9Toshihito IshimaruJPN
=17Paddy DonovanNZL
=17Francisco NúñezARG

Round One (23 November 1956)

Winner of each match advanced to the second round.

Match #1 Pentti NiinivuoriFIN Bye
Match #2 Zygmunt MilewskiPOL Bye
Match #3 Harry KurschatGER Bye
Match #4 Celedonio EspinosaPHI Bye
Match #5 Billy GriffithsAUS Bye
Match #6 Louis MolinaUSA Bye
Match #7 Tony ByrneIRL Bye
Match #8 Josef ChovanecTCH Bye
Match #9 Baek Do-SeonKOR Bye
Match #10 André VairolattoFRA Bye
Match #11 Dick McTaggartGBR Bye
Match #12 Chandrasena JayasuriyaSRI Bye
Match #13 Ed BeattieCAN Bye
Match #14 Seeb ChundakowsolyaTHA Bye
Match #15 Toshihito IshimaruJPN Paddy DonovanNZL Decision (– - –)
Match #16 Anatoly LagetkoURS Francisco NúñezARG Decision (– - –)

Round Two (27 November 1956)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Zygmunt MilewskiPOL Pentti NiinivuoriFIN Decision (– - –)
Match #2 Harry KurschatGER Celedonio EspinosaPHI Decision (– - –)
Match #3 Louis MolinaUSA Billy GriffithsAUS Decision (– - –)
Match #4 1 Tony ByrneIRL Josef ChovanecTCH 2Disqualified (Round 3)
Match #5 André VairolattoFRA Baek Do-SeonKOR Retired (Round 2)
Match #6 Dick McTaggartGBR Chandrasena JayasuriyaSRI Decision (– - –)
Match #7 Ed BeattieCAN Seeb ChundakowsolyaTHA Decision (– - –)
Match #8 Anatoly LagetkoURS Toshihito IshimaruJPN Decision (– - –)

Quarter-Finals (29 November 1956)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Harry KurschatGER Zygmunt MilewskiPOL Referee Stops Contest (Round 3)
Match #2 Tony ByrneIRL Louis MolinaUSA Decision (– - –)
Match #3 Dick McTaggartGBR André VairolattoFRA Decision (– - –)
Match #4 Anatoly LagetkoURS Ed BeattieCAN Decision (– - –)

Semi-Finals (30 November 1956)

Winner of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Harry KurschatGER Tony ByrneIRL Decision (– - –)
Match #2 Dick McTaggartGBR Anatoly LagetkoURS Decision (– - –)

Final Round (1 December 1956)

Match 1/2 Dick McTaggartGBR Harry KurschatGER Decision (– - –)