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Light-Heavyweight (≤81 kilograms), Men

Date24 July – 4 August 1996
StatusOlympic
LocationAlexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Participants31 from 31 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

Antonio Tarver, already favourite for the Olympic title after being crowned world champion in 1995, was given a further boost shortly before the Games began when his predecessor as world champion, Ramon Garbey of Cuba, defected to the United States.

Tarver began his Olympic campaign in fine style with three clear victories but the semi-final brought a massive disappointment for the home crowd when Vasily Zhirov proved too strong for the American and ran out a clear victor by a 15-9 margin.

By then Zhirov had already accounted for his main European rival Pietro Aurino and had only to see off the challenge of Korean Lee Seung-Bae to win gold for Kazakhstan. Lee had moved up from the middleweight division since winning a bronze medal in Barcelona and was much the smaller man of the two finalists. He was unable to cope with the size and speed of Zhirov and was susceptible to the body punches of the Kazakh fighter. In the final round Zhirov stepped up the place and forced a standing eight count on the Korean. His performances earned the Kazakh fighter the Val Barker Award as the outstanding boxer of the tournament.

Zhirov and Tarver both had long and successful careers as professionals and both had long spells as world champion. Tarver notably had a memorable series of fights against [Roy Jones, Jr.] (/athletes/8704) and won two of their three fights.

PosBoxerNOC
1Vasily ZhirovKAZGold
2Lee Seung-BaeKORSilver
=3Antonio TarverUSABronze
=3Thomas UlrichGERBronze
5Enrique FloresPUR
6Troy Amos-RossCAN
7Daniel Andrade JúniorBRA
8Stipe DrvišCRO
=9David KowahSLE
=9Sybrand BotesRSA
=9Paul MbongoCMR
=9Pietro AurinoITA
=9Jean-Louis MandengueFRA
=9Ismael KonéSWE
=9Temur IbragimovUZB
=9Freddy RojasCUB
=17Dmitry VybornovRUS
=17Gabriel HernándezDOM
=17Gurcharan SinghIND
=17Roland RaformeSEY
=17Julio César GonzálezMEX
=17Yusuf ÖztürkTUR
=17Khadour AdnanSYR
=17Ayoub Pourtaghi GhoushchiIRI
=17İlham KərimovAZE
=17Rick TimperiAUS
=17John DouglasGUY
=17Rostyslav ZaulychnyiUKR
=17Sam LeuiiSAM
=17Mohamed MahmoudEGY
=17Peter OdhiamboKEN

Round One (24 July 1996 — 15:06)

Winner of each match advanced to the second round.

Match #1 David KowahSLE Bye
Match #2 Antonio TarverUSA Dmitry VybornovRUS Decision (5 - 2)
Match #3 Sybrand BotesRSA Gabriel HernándezDOM Decision (16 - 11)
Match #4 Enrique FloresPUR Gurcharan SinghIND Decision (15 - 7)
Match #5 Troy Amos-RossCAN Roland RaformeSEY Knock Out (Round 3, 2:16)
Match #6 Paul MbongoCMR Peter OdhiamboKEN Decision (15 - 6)
Match #7 Vasily ZhirovKAZ Julio César GonzálezMEX Referee Stops Contest (Round 2, 2:10)
Match #8 Pietro AurinoITA Yusuf ÖztürkTUR Decision (15 - 7)
Match #9 Daniel Andrade JúniorBRA Khadour AdnanSYR Decision (9 - 4)
Match #10 Jean-Louis MandengueFRA Ayoub Pourtaghi GhoushchiIRI Decision (21 - 9)
Match #11 Ismael KonéSWE İlham KərimovAZE Decision (22 - 3)
Match #12 Thomas UlrichGER Rick TimperiAUS Decision (21 - 7)
Match #13 Stipe DrvišCRO John DouglasGUY Referee Stops Contest (Round 2, 2:52)
Match #14 Temur IbragimovUZB Rostyslav ZaulychnyiUKR Decision (7 - 3)
Match #15 Lee Seung-BaeKOR Sam LeuiiSAM Decision (14 - 0)
Match #16 Freddy RojasCUB Mohamed MahmoudEGY Decision (20 - 9)

Round Two (28 July 1996 — 15:06)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Antonio TarverUSA David KowahSLE Referee Stops Contest (Round 1, 2:43)
Match #2 Enrique FloresPUR Sybrand BotesRSA Decision (16 - 7)
Match #3 Troy Amos-RossCAN Paul MbongoCMR Decision (7 - 3)
Match #4 Vasily ZhirovKAZ Pietro AurinoITA Decision (18 - 13)
Match #5 Daniel Andrade JúniorBRA Jean-Louis MandengueFRA Referee Stops Contest (Head Blow) (Round 1, 1:50)
Match #6 Thomas UlrichGER Ismael KonéSWE Decision (24 - 9)
Match #7 Stipe DrvišCRO Temur IbragimovUZB Decision (10 - 9)
Match #8 Lee Seung-BaeKOR Freddy RojasCUB Decision (13 - 9)

Quarter-Finals (31 July 1996 — 15:06)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Antonio TarverUSA Enrique FloresPUR Referee Stops Contest (Head Blow) (Round 3, 1:54)
Match #2 Vasily ZhirovKAZ Troy Amos-RossCAN Decision (14 - 8)
Match #3 Thomas UlrichGER Daniel Andrade JúniorBRA Decision (14 - 7)
Match #4 Lee Seung-BaeKOR Stipe DrvišCRO Decision (14 - 11)

Semi-Finals (2 August 1996 — 21:36)

Winner of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Vasily ZhirovKAZ Antonio TarverUSA Decision (15 - 9)
Match #2 Lee Seung-BaeKOR Thomas UlrichGER Decision (12 - 8)

Final Round (4 August 1996 — 15:02)

Match 1/2 Vasily ZhirovKAZ Lee Seung-BaeKOR Decision (17 - 4)