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The most important moments in Olympic boxing history

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

Danny Howard

July 30th, 2021

Boxing at the Olympics has had its share of historical moments, controversies, and shocking events.

Just like the professional ranks, however, boxing’s biggest moments in the Olympics are a mix of glory and catastrophe.

Let's take a look at the five most important moments in Olympic boxing history.

1988: Roy Jones Jr. robbed in Seoul

With the whole world watching, you'd think Olympic judges would perform admirably. That clearly wasn’t the case in 1988, when Roy Jones Jr. was robbed of a gold medal against South Korea’s Park Si-Hun.

Jones laned nearly three times as many punches and nearly stopped the Korean in the second.

Investigations followed, and there were allegations the judges were paid off by South Korean officials, but the decision was never overturned.

2012: Great Britain shows out

The 2012 London Games featured the debut of women's boxing, as well as the moment the world met future heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who brought home a gold for Great Britain.

The women’s event saw USA’s Claressa Shields and Ireland’s Katie Taylor take home the gold, but the highlight was Nicola Adams’ gold medal for Great Britain. In the nine years since, all of these fighters are now dominant world champions.

1992: Oscar De La Hoya becomes “the Golden Boy”

Olympic success at one time was a predictor of success in the pro ranks, and perhaps no one made more of their gold-medal moment than De La Hoya.

His win at the 1992 Barcelona Games became part of his gimmick and allure, and his sensational performance launched one of the most important figures in the sport.

2016: Michael Conlan TKOs the AIBA

Though Jones’ awful decision went unresolved, there was a breaking point almost 30 years later.

When Conlan was robbed of victory against Russian Vladimir Nikitin, a furious Conlan vented his frustrations about the corrupt nature of amateur boxing scoring and gave the judges a middle finger for their effort.

Following subsequent investigations, the Olympics decided to end its partnership with AIBA (International Boxing Association).

1984: America’s greatest boxing team

the 1984 U.S. Olympic team was the finest to ever compete.

Team USA won 11 medals, nine gold, and boasted an impressive roster of fighters. Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Mark Breland, and Virgil Hill all went on to have decorated pro careers.

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