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Heavyweight (>81 kilograms), Men

Date24 November – 1 December 1956
StatusOlympic
LocationWest Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants11 from 11 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

Pete Rademacher missed the 1952 Olympics when a broken hand forced his retirement at the US trials. Four years later in Melbourne he made amends with an impressive display of punching which give them three successive knockout victories on the way to the Olympic title. His rival for the gold was another big puncher, Lev Mukhin of the Soviet Union. Mukhin, whilst possessing strength and power as was seen in his victories on the way to the final, had a weak chin and had been floored in two of three preliminary bouts. Rademacher bulldozed his way to victory and scored a succession of knockdowns before the referee eventually stopped the fight.

Rademacher duly elected to become a professional and, astonishingly, was granted a challenge to world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson as his first pro bout. Rademacher was unsurprisingly outclassed and knocked out by Patterson although he did score a knockdown of his own during the fight. He fought on, usually against top quality opponents, until 1962, and won 15 of his 23 fights. He later became a successful businessman.

PosBoxerNOC
1Pete RademacherUSAGold
2Lev MukhinURSSilver
=3Daan BekkerRSABronze
=3Mino BozzanoITABronze
=5José GiorgettiARG
=5Josef NěmecTCH
=5Ulli NitzschkeGER
=5Törner ÅhsmanSWE
=9Ilkka KoskiFIN
=9Pa SharkeyIRL
=9Bozhil LozanovBUL

Round One (24 November 1956)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Daan BekkerRSA Bye
Match #2 José GiorgettiARG Bye
Match #3 Pete RademacherUSA Bye
Match #4 Josef NěmecTCH Bye
Match #5 Ulli NitzschkeGER Bye
Match #6 Mino BozzanoITA Ilkka KoskiFIN Decision (– - –)
Match #7 Törner ÅhsmanSWE Pa SharkeyIRL Knock Out (Round 3)
Match #8 Lev MukhinURS Bozhil LozanovBUL Retired (Round 3)

Quarter-Finals (29 November 1956)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Daan BekkerRSA José GiorgettiARG Referee Stops Contest (Round 1)
Match #2 Pete RademacherUSA Josef NěmecTCH Referee Stops Contest (Round 2)
Match #3 Mino BozzanoITA Ulli NitzschkeGER Decision (– - –)
Match #4 Lev MukhinURS Törner ÅhsmanSWE Knock Out (Round 1)

Semi-Finals (30 November 1956)

Winner of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Pete RademacherUSA Daan BekkerRSA Referee Stops Contest (Round 3)
Match #2 Lev MukhinURS Mino BozzanoITA Knock Out (Round 3)

Final Round (1 December 1956)

Match 1/2 Pete RademacherUSA Lev MukhinURS Referee Stops Contest (Round 1, 2:27)