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1908  London Summer Olympics

1908 Summer Olympics - The Results (Boxing)

Boxing at the 1908 London Summer Games

 

  

Host City: London, Great Britain
Date Started: October 27, 1908
Date Finished: October 27, 1908
Events: 5

Participants: 42 (42 men and 0 women) from 4 countries
Youngest Participant: GBR Johnny Condon (19 years, 241 days)
Oldest Participant: GBR Richard Gunn (37 years, 253 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 15 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): GBR Great Britain (14 medals)

A total of 42 boxers from 4 nations competed at the London Games:

  •  Australasia (1)
  •  Denmark (2)
  •  France (7)
  •  Great Britain (32)
  

Overview

For the only time ever, the Olympic boxing tournament was contested in a single day. The matches began at 11:25 AM and lasted until late in the evening, finishing at 10:30 PM (2230). Remarkably, this led to two boxers, [Fred Spiller] and [Reginald )Snowy) Baker], competing in four bouts in one day. The matches were all three rounds, with the first two rounds lasting three minutes each, and the last round lasting four minutes. A one minute break was allowed between each round. Spiller fought 11 rounds in one day, Baker 9 - and both won a silver medal.

There were semi-final round byes in the bantamweight, lightweight, and heavyweight divisions; thus only one bronze medalist is recorded in those events. The rules noted that any boxer drawing a bye was required to spar for the specified time with any opponent approved of by the judges and the referee. No evidence exists to note if this rule was followed to the letter or not.

Medal summary

EventGoldSilverBronze
Bantamweight
(-52.6 kg / 116 lb)

A. Henry Thomas
 Great Britain
John Condon
 Great Britain
William Webb
 Great Britain
Featherweight
(-57.2 kg / 126 lb)

Richard Gunn
 Great Britain
Charles Morris
 Great Britain
Hugh Roddin
 Great Britain
Lightweight
(-63.5 kg / 140 lb)

Frederick Grace
 Great Britain
Frederick Spiller
 Great Britain
Harry Johnson
 Great Britain
Middleweight
(-71.7 kg / 158 lb)

Johnny Douglas
 Great Britain
Reginald Baker
 Australasia
William Philo
 Great Britain
Heavyweight
(over 71.7 kg/158 lb)

Albert Oldman
 Great Britain
Sydney Evans
 Great Britain
Frederick Parks
 Great Britain
  

Medal table

 
RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1  Great Britain 5 4 5 14
2  Australasia 0 1 0 1
Totals (2 nations) 5 5 5 15
 

Men's Bantamweight

 Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Northampton Institute, Clerkenwell
Date Started: October 27, 1908
Date Finished: October 27, 1908
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Competitors 6from 2 nations

Competition

Quarterfinals

Condon won by knockout in the third round against the only non-British competitor in the bantamweight. McGurk came out well against Thomas, but Thomas finished stronger. The bout between Webb and Perry was the tightest, with Webb's win coming through the referee's decision after the two judges deadlocked.

Semifinals

Thomas had been seeded into a bye for the round. Webb and Condon had a tight bout, with Condon winning narrowly.

Final

The two boxers fought a physical bout up close, in which Thomas fared better.

  

Summary

There was only one non-British competitor, [Pierre Mazior] of France. Most of the top British bantams were present. [Henry Perry] had been Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) champion in 1903-1904, while [Wally Webb] won that title in 1905 and 1910, and [Johnny Condon] would win it in 1909. [Henry Thomas] won two decisions to take the gold medal, receiving a bye in the semi-finals. He was also ABA Champion in 1908. Thomas turned professional in 1909 and settled in the United States. He fought there and in Australia until his retirement in 1916.

The bantamweight was one of five boxing weight classes contested on the boxing at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme. Like all other boxing events, it was open only to men. The boxing competitions were all held on October 27. The bantamweight was the lightest class, allowing boxers of up to 116 pounds (52.6 kg). Six boxers from two nations competed

Standings

PlaceNameNation
1 Henry Thomas  Great Britain
2 John Condon  Great Britain
3 William Webb  Great Britain
4 Pierre Mazior  France
Frank McGurk  Great Britain
Henry Perry  Great Britain

Bracket

Quarterfinals
October 27
  Semifinals
October 27
  Final
October 27
                   
 John Condon (GBR) KO3  
 Pierre Mazior (FRA) L      John Condon (GBR) 2  
 William Webb (GBR) 2    William Webb (GBR) 0  
 Henry Perry (GBR) 1        John Condon (GBR) 0
 Henry Thomas (GBR) 2        Henry Thomas (GBR) 2
 Frank McGurk (GBR) 0      Henry Thomas (GBR) -
None -   Bye -  
None -  

Men's Featherweight

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Northampton Institute, Clerkenwell
Date Started: October 27, 1908
Date Finished: October 27, 1908
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Competitors 8from 2 nations

Competition

Quarterfinals

Poillot gave Gunn strong competition in the first round, but Gunn knocked the Frenchman down shortly before the first bell. When Poillot went down again before the end of the second round, he did not get back up. Morris won relatively easily, hitting with both right and left. Constant, while never giving Ringer a serious chance of defeat, fought well throughout the bout. Roddin and Lloyd boxed a physical campaign, each taking a great deal of punishment before Roddin won by decision.

Semifinals

Gunn and Morris both won their bouts in the latter ends of the contests, with Roddin and Ringer giving stiff competition in the early rounds but not able to keep up with the winners the whole way through.

There was no bronze medal bout, the third place was attributed.

Final

Gunn fought Morris back and forth, with the 38-year-old veteran coming out on top following a strong final round.

Summary

The winner, [Richard Gunn], had two decisions and one knock-out in his three bouts. He was 37 years old in 1908, having won the ABA featherweight championship in 1894-1896. He then retired at the request of the boxing officials because of his superiority over all his competitors, but he came out of retirement for the 1908 Olympics. The runner-up, [Charley Morris], had been ABA champion in this class in 1904. In the final, Gunn won the first round and Morris the second, but Gunn, despite his age, outpointed Morris in the 3rd round for the decision.

The featherweight was one of five boxing weight classes contested on the boxing at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme. Like all other boxing events, it was open only to men. The boxing competitions were held on October 27. The featherweight was the second-lightest class, allowing boxers of up to 126 pounds (57.2 kg). Eight boxers from two nations competed.

Standings

PlaceNameNation
1 Richard Gunn  Great Britain
2 Charles Morris  Great Britain
3 Hugh Roddin  Great Britain
4 Thomas Ringer  Great Britain
5 Edward Adams  Great Britain
Louis Constant  France
John Lloyd  Great Britain
Étienne Poillot  France

Bracket

Quarterfinals
October 27
  Semifinals
October 27
  Final
October 27
                   
 Thomas Ringer (GBR) 2  
 Louis Constant (FRA) 0      Thomas Ringer (GBR) 0  
 Richard Gunn (GBR) KO2    Richard Gunn (GBR) 2  
 Étienne Poillot (FRA) L        Richard Gunn (GBR) 2
 Hugh Roddin (GBR) 2        Charles Morris (GBR) 0
 John Lloyd (GBR) 0      Hugh Roddin (GBR) 0
 Charles Morris (GBR) 2    Charles Morris (GBR) 2  
 Edward Adams (GBR) 0  

Men's Lightweight

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Northampton Institute, Clerkenwell
Date Started: October 27, 1908
Date Finished: October 27, 1908
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Competitors12from 3 nations

Competition

Round of 16

Wells and Holberg split the judges over the course of the first three rounds. The referee declared a fourth round, which Wells won in a contest which involved more grappling than punching. Bouvier was knocked down several times by Holmes before the referee stopped the contest. Jessup dominated his match, with Osborne not lasting past the first round. Grace, Spiller, and Johnson each won by decisions varying in closeness.

Quarterfinals

Spiller had the easiest time of it in the round, nearly eliminating Jessup in the first. The second round saw Jessup counted out. Grace and Wells fought a defensive bout, without either receiving much punishment. Johnson won a tight bout with Holmes by referee's decision.

Semifinals

Grace took a bye in the semifinals and Spiller's easy win made the round an uneventful one.

Final

Each boxer went to the mat in the second, but Grace piled on more hits than did Spiller to win the bout.

Summary

The eventual winner was not highly considered. The favorites had to be Matt Wells, ABA Champion from 1904-1907, and later British and European pro champion in 1911, and Harold Holmes, champion in 1908. But Holmes lost in the quarter-finals to Harry Johnson and Wells lost a decision in the semi-finals to Frederick Grace. Grace was lightly regarded before the Olympic tournament began but he went on to win four ABA Championships at this weight - 1909, 1913, and 1919-1920. He also competed at the 1920 Olympics, where he won one match and then lost to the eventual champion, Sammy Mosberg (USA) in an overtime decision.

The lightweight was one of five boxing weight classes contested on the 1908 Summer Olympics programme. Like all other boxing events, it was open only to men. The boxing competitions were held on October 27. The lightweight was the middle class, allowing boxers of up to 140 pounds (63.5 kg). Twelve boxers from three nations competed

Standings

PlaceNameNation
1 Frederick Grace  Great Britain
2 Frederick Spiller  Great Britain
3 Harry Johnson  Great Britain
4 Harold Holmes  Great Britain
George Jessup  Great Britain
Matt Wells  Great Britain
7 André Bouvier  France
Edward Fearman  Great Britain
Patrick Fee  Great Britain
Hemming Hansen  Denmark
Waldemar Holberg  Denmark
Frank Osborne  Great Britain

Bracket

Round of 16
October 27
  Quarterfinals
October 27
  Semifinals
October 27
  Final
October 27
                           
 Harry Johnson (GBR) 2  
 Hemming Hansen (DEN) 0      Johnson (GBR) 2  
 Harold Holmes (GBR) KO2    Holmes (GBR) 1  
 André Bouvier (FRA) L        Johnson (GBR) 0  
 George Jessup (GBR) KO1        Spiller (GBR) 2  
 Frank Osborne (GBR) L      Jessup (GBR) L
 Patrick Fee (GBR) 0    Spiller (GBR) KO2  
 Frederick Spiller (GBR) 2        Spiller (GBR) 0
 Matt Wells (GBR) 2 (4th)        Grace (GBR) 2
 Waldemar Holberg (DEN) 1      Wells (GBR) 0  
 Frederick Grace (GBR) 2    Grace (GBR) 2  
 Edward Fearman (GBR) 0        Grace (GBR) -
None -       Bye -  
None -     None -
None -   None -  
None -  
 

Men's Middleweight

 Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Northampton Institute, Clerkenwell
Date Started: October 27, 1908
Date Finished: October 27, 1908
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Competitors 10from 3 nations

 

Competition

Round of 16

The first round was characterized by knockouts, as all three Frenchmen as well as Dees were out before the start of the third round. Aspa managed to make it through two rounds before withdrawing due to a thumb injury. Doudelle went down the quickest, in the first round, while Dees and Morard were bested in the second rounds of their bouts. The one bout that did go all the way was between Philo and Murdoch, which was such a tight contest that the referee had to break the judges' tie.

Quarterfinals

Philo, Warnes, and Douglas all had byes in the second round. Baker and Childs had the only quarterfinal match. The Australian hit Childs with a powerful uppercut as well as managing to avoid a charge by Childs that caused the Briton to fall through the ropes. In a clear decision, Baker advanced to the semifinals.

Semifinals

Both semifinal contests were knockouts, bringing the middleweight event to a total of 6 knockouts to 2 decisions. Baker defeated Philo quickly, while Douglas took two rounds to put Warnes away.

Final

In a match that had the potential to break England's dominance of the boxing championships, Baker and Douglas went through a middleweight final that the Official Report described as the "best boxing of the day"[2] (and therefore the entire 1908 Olympic boxing competition). The two fought well, with Douglas's knockdown of Baker in the second a major factor in the Briton's win.

Summary

 

This class produced the bext boxing of the day, with three Frenchman and the Australian, [Reginald "Snowy" Baker], contesting the title against six British boxers. The last four ABA Champions were present - [John Douglas] (1905), [Arthur Murdoch] (1906), [Rube Warnes] (1907 and 1910), and [William Childs] (1908-09, and 1911).

The final came down to Douglas and Baker, and was described as the best match of the tournament. The first round was even. Douglas knocked Baker down in round two, but he continued in a closely fought battle. However, Douglas hung on in round three to win on points. Douglas was presented his gold medal by his father, who was then the President of the ABA. John Douglas, the son, was actually better known as a cricketer and later captained Essex County and England teams. He and his father died tragically in a sea disaster returning from Finland in December 1930.

Snowy Baker is the greatest all-around athlete ever produced by Australia. He competed at the 1908 Olympics in boxing, diving, and swimming. In addition to those three sports, he represented Australia at the international level in rugby union and water polo. He was also state or national caliber in cricket, track & field athletics, and rowing. In December 1908, he was appointed referee for the Jack Johnson vs. Tommy Burns heavyweight professional bout, which was held in Sydney, but Johnson objected to Baker's snow-white hair (hence his nickname), and he was replaced. Baker later became a movie star and stuntman.

The middleweight was one of five boxing weight classes contested on the boxing at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme. Like all other boxing events, it was open only to men. The boxing competitions were all held on October 27. The middleweight was the second-heaviest class, allowing boxers of up to 158 pounds (71.7 kg). It was the only boxing event in which a non-British boxer won a bout. Reginald Baker from Australia (competing on the Australasia team) won three before losing to Johnny Douglas in the final. Ten boxers from three nations competed

Standings

PlaceNameNation
1 Johnny Douglas  Great Britain
2 Reginald Baker  Australasia
3 William Philo  Great Britain
4 Ruben Warnes  Great Britain
5 William Childs  Great Britain
6 Gaston Aspa  France
William Dees  Great Britain
René Doudelle  France
Charles Morard  France
Arthur Murdoch  Great Britain

Bracket

Round of 16
October 27
  Quarterfinals
October 27
  Semifinals
October 27
  Final
October 27
                           
 William Childs (GBR) KO2  
 Gaston Aspa (FRA) L      Childs (GBR) 0  
 William Dees (GBR) L    Baker (ANZ) 2  
 Reginald Baker (ANZ) KO2        Baker (ANZ) KO1  
 William Philo (GBR) 2        Philo (GBR) L  
 Arthur Murdoch (GBR) 1      Philo (GBR) -
None -   Bye -  
None -        Baker (ANZ) 1
 Ruben Warnes (GBR) KO2        Douglas (GBR) 2
 Charles Morard (FRA) L      Warnes (GBR) -  
None -   Bye -  
None -        Warnes (GBR) L
 René Doudelle (FRA) L        Douglas (GBR) KO2  
 Johnny Douglas (GBR) KO1      Douglas (GBR) -
None -   Bye -  
None -  
 

Men's Heavyweight

 Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Northampton Institute, Clerkenwell
Date Started: October 27, 1908
Date Finished: October 27, 1908
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Competitors 6from 1 nation

  

Competition

Quarterfinals

Oldman and Evans both won in the first round, Oldman winning with a right to Myrams' chin and Evans winning with a left to the chest of Ireton. Frederick Parks and Brewer went the full three, with Parks doing the lion's share of the hitting but Brewer taking it well.

Semifinals

Oldman received a bye for the round. Frederick Parks, who had given most of the punishment in the quarterfinals, found the situation reversed in the semifinals. Evans knocked him out of the ring once and to the mat twice. Parks fought hard, however, and not only made it through the three rounds but managed to land enough punches to deadlock the judges. Evans won by the referee's decision.

Final

In a somewhat anticlimactic final, Oldman put Evans on the rope shortly into the first, landing blow after blow to Evans' face. Within two minutes, Evans had dropped.

Summary

 

This was the only class with no foreign entrants. Albert Oldman was a City of London policeman but was not highly regarded as a boxer prior to the 1908 Olympic tournament. The favorites were Frank Parks, who had been ABA Champ in 1901-02 and 1905-06, and the two most recent ABA Champions, Harold Brewer (1907) and Sydney Evans (1908). But Oldman won both his matches by first-round knock-outs, fighting for less than a total of one round.

The heavyweight was one of five boxing weight classes contested on the boxing at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme. Like all other boxing events, it was open only to men. The boxing competitions were all held on October 27. The heavyweight was the middle class, allowing boxers of any weight. Six boxers all from Great Britain competed.

Standings

PlaceNameNation
1 Albert Oldman  Great Britain
2 Sydney Evans  Great Britain
3 Frederick Parks  Great Britain
4 Harold Brewer  Great Britain
Albert Ireton  Great Britain
Ian Myrams  Great Britain

Bracket

Quarterfinals
October 27
  Semifinals
October 27
  Final
October 27
                   
 Sydney Evans (GBR) KO1  
 Albert Ireton (GBR) L      Sydney Evans (GBR) 2  
 Frederick Parks (GBR) 2    Frederick Parks (GBR) 1  
 Harold Brewer (GBR) 0        Sydney Evans (GBR) L
 Albert Oldman (GBR) KO1        Albert Oldman (GBR) KO1
 Ian Myrams (GBR) L      Albert Oldman (GBR) -
None -   Bye -  
None -  

 

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