By Stan Greenberg
Last updated 2011-03-03
When he won the 1908 featherweight title, Britain’s Richard Gunn was nearly 38 years old, and is the oldest man ever to win an Olympic boxing title. Working in the East End of London in the tailoring business, he won three consecutive ABA titles, 1894-1896, before being requested to retire from the sport due to his “acknowledged superiority“. He served on the ABA council until 1908, when he came out of retirement for the Games. He died aged 90 in 1961.
There were only five weight classes in 1908, whereas in 2004 there were eleven. There are suggestions that women’s events should be included in the future. Many Olympic champions have gone on to win world professional titles, but only two, Joe Frazier (1964) and George Foreman (1968), both Americans, won the Olympic heavyweight crown and then became undisputed world professional heavyweight champion. Muhammad Ali, perhaps the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, won the 1960 Olympic light-heavyweight title.
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