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Super-Heavyweight (>91 kilograms), Men

Date23 July – 4 August 1996
StatusOlympic
LocationAlexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Participants19 from 19 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

The death of 1992 Olympic champion Roberto Balado had left a gaping hole at the top of the super-heavyweight division that even the fabled production line of Cuban heavyweights had failed to fill. The man favoured to follow Balado as Olympic champion was a Russian, Aleksey Lyozin, who won the gold medal at the 1995 World Championships. The silver medallist at that championship, Vitali Klychko of the Ukraine, was not to compete at Atlanta as he was kicked out of the Ukrainian national team after failing a drug test. His replacement in the national team was his younger brother Volodymyr who took full advantage of his unexpected opportunity. Volodymyr Klychko defeated home favourite Lawrence Clay-Bey in his opening fight, demolished Swede Attila Levin, then upset Lyozin to reach the final where he was to face the most surprising finalist of the entire tournament. Paea Wolfgramm of Tonga was Oceanian champion and had won a medal at the 1994 Commonwealth Games but these honours were won against weak opposition and few thought that he would survive past his first bout in Atlanta. He won his first fight against future professional world champion Sergey Dukhovich then pulled off one of the great upsets in Olympic boxing by outpointing Cuba’s Alexis Rubalcaba. Wolfgramm produced another upset win in the semi-final to ensure that his nation’s first Olympic medal would either be gold or silver.

For a brief period in the final it seemed as though the impossible was about to happen as the Tongan kept pace with Klychko but the fitness level of the Ukrainian began to tell and he pulled away in the final round to record the victory. After the fight it was revealed that Wolfgramm had suffered a fractured wrist in his previous bout.

Throughout Tonga there were mass celebrations in honour of their first Olympic medallist and the King declared a national holiday for the day of Wolfgramm’s return home. He later had a career in professional boxing though he met with only modest success.

In contrast, Volodymyr Klychko won the WBO world professional heavyweight title in 2000 and held it for 2½ years before losing it to Corrie Sanders. He won the IBF title in 2006 and has since added the WBA and WBO titles to his collection in a reign that stretched through 2013. He is generally accepted as the leading heavyweight of the 21st century. The only other legimate claimaint to that honour may well be his brother, Vitali, who has also held a version of the world title for a large part of the decade.

PosBoxerNOC
1Wladimir KlitschkoUKRGold
2Paea WolfgrammTGASilver
=3Aleksey LezinRUSBronze
=3Duncan DokiwariNGRBronze
5Attila LevinSWE
6René MonseGER
7Alexis RubalcabaCUB
8Ədalət MəmmədovAZE
=9Jean-François BergeronCAN
=9Lawrence Clay-BeyUSA
=9Mikhail YurchenkoKAZ
=9Ahmed El-SaidEGY
=9Siarhei LiakhovichBLR
=9Paolo VidozITA
=9Safarish KhanPAK
=9Josue BlocusFRA
=17Mohamed Reza SamadiIRI
=17Jesús GuevaraVEN
=17Petr HoráčekCZE

Round One (23 July 1996 — 16:42)

Winner of each match advanced to the second round.

Match #1 Jean-François BergeronCAN Bye
Match #2 Attila LevinSWE Bye
Match #3 Wladimir KlitschkoUKR Bye
Match #4 Lawrence Clay-BeyUSA Bye
Match #5 Aleksey LezinRUS Bye
Match #6 Mikhail YurchenkoKAZ Bye
Match #7 Ahmed El-SaidEGY Bye
Match #8 René MonseGER Bye
Match #9 Paea WolfgrammTGA Bye
Match #10 Siarhei LiakhovichBLR Bye
Match #11 Alexis RubalcabaCUB Bye
Match #12 Paolo VidozITA Bye
Match #13 Safarish KhanPAK Bye
Match #14 Duncan DokiwariNGR Mohamed Reza SamadiIRI Referee Stops Contest (Injured) (Round 2, 0:39)
Match #15 Josue BlocusFRA Jesús GuevaraVEN Referee Stops Contest (Round 2, 2:13)
Match #16 Ədalət MəmmədovAZE Petr HoráčekCZE Referee Stops Contest (Injured) (Round 2, 1:50)

Round Two (27 July 1996 — 15:06)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Attila LevinSWE Jean-François BergeronCAN Referee Stops Contest (Head Blow) (Round 1, 0:59)
Match #2 Wladimir KlitschkoUKR Lawrence Clay-BeyUSA Decision (10 - 8)
Match #3 Aleksey LezinRUS Mikhail YurchenkoKAZ Referee Stops Contest (Injured) (Round 1, 2:42)
Match #4 René MonseGER Ahmed El-SaidEGY Decision (12 - 9)
Match #5 Paea WolfgrammTGA Siarhei LiakhovichBLR Decision (10 - 9)
Match #6 Alexis RubalcabaCUB Paolo VidozITA Referee Stops Contest (Head Blow) (Round 1, 2:39)
Match #7 Duncan DokiwariNGR Safarish KhanPAK Referee Stops Contest (Head Blow) (Round 2, 1:25)
Match #8 Ədalət MəmmədovAZE Josue BlocusFRA Referee Stops Contest (Round 1, 2:11)

Quarter-Finals (2 August 1996 — 15:30)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Wladimir KlitschkoUKR Attila LevinSWE Referee Stops Contest (Round 1, 1:43)
Match #2 Aleksey LezinRUS René MonseGER Decision (9 - 5)
Match #3 Paea WolfgrammTGA Alexis RubalcabaCUB Decision (17 - 12)
Match #4 Duncan DokiwariNGR Ədalət MəmmədovAZE Referee Stops Contest (Head Blow) (Round 3, 0:23)

Semi-Finals (2 August 1996 — 22:00)

Winner of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Wladimir KlitschkoUKR Aleksey LezinRUS Decision (4 - 1)
Match #2 Paea WolfgrammTGA Duncan DokiwariNGR Decision (7 - 6)

Final Round (4 August 1996 — 15:25)

Match 1/2 Wladimir KlitschkoUKR Paea WolfgrammTGA Decision (7 - 3)