Boxing at the 1988 Summer Olympics – Super heavyweight

The men's super heavyweight event was part of the boxing programme at the 1988 Summer Olympics. The weight class allowed boxers of more than 91 kilograms to compete. The competition was held from 22 September to 2 October 1988. 17 boxers from 17 nations competed.[1]

Super heavyweight boxing
at the Games of the XXIV Olympiad
VenueChamshil Students' Gymnasium
Dates22 September – 2 October
Competitors17 from 17 nations
1st place, gold medalist(s) Lennox Lewis  Canada
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Riddick Bowe  United States
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Aleksandr Miroshnichenko  Soviet Union
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Janusz Zarenkiewicz  Poland
← 1984
1992 →

Future world heavyweight champion 23-year-old Lennox Lewis of Canada defeated 21-year-old Riddick Bowe of the US in a controversial final.[2]


The super heavyweight event of the 1988 Olympics was weakened by the absence of a Cuban boxer. Teófilo Stevenson, a veteran three-time Olympic champion whose first Olympics were back in 1972, did not retire anticipating these Olympics.[3] He announced his retirement shortly after the Cuban government decided to boycott the Games. He was 36 years of age in 1988. In contrast, future finalists Lewis and Bowe were rather young, 23 and 21 years old respectively. Possible Cuban alternate Jorge Luis González, 24, had defeated both Bowe and Lewis at the 1987 Pan American Games.[4]

It was predicted that the gold medal would be contested between the North Americans Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe and Europeans Ulli Kaden and Alex Miroshnichenko.[1]


Gold Lennox Lewis
Silver Riddick Bowe
  United States
Bronze Aleksandr Miroshnichenko
  Soviet Union
Bronze Janusz Zarenkiewicz


The following boxers took part in the event:[1]

Rank Name Country
1 Lennox Lewis   Canada
2 Riddick Bowe   United States
3T Aleksandr Miroshnichenko   Soviet Union
3T Janusz Zarenkiewicz   Poland
5T Kim Yu-hyeon   South Korea
5T Peter Hrivňák   Czechoslovakia
5T Ulli Kaden   East Germany
5T Andreas Schnieders   West Germany
9T Ali Al-Baluchi   Kuwait
9T Mohamed Hammad   Sudan
9T Petar Stoimenov   Bulgaria
9T Biko Botowamungu   Austria
9T Crispine Odera   Kenya
9T Aziz Salihu   Yugoslavia
9T Harold Arroyo   Puerto Rico
9T Ovwigbo Uba   Nigeria
17T Tshibalabala Kadima   Zaire

First roundEdit

Second roundEdit




Bowe was the more effective fighter in the first round, landing 33 of 94 punches thrown (34%) while Lewis landed 14 of 67 (21%). In the first round the referee from East Germany gave Bowe two cautions for headbutts and deducted a point for a third headbutt. Commentator Ferdie Pacheco disagreed with the deduction, saying they did not hit heads. In the second round, Lewis landed several hard punches. The referee gave Bowe two standing eight counts and waved the fight off after the second one, even though Bowe seemed able to continue. Pacheco disagreed with the stoppage, calling it "very strange", but Marv Albert said Bowe took "a pounding."[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Boxing at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games: Men's Super Heavyweight". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  2. ^ "The Seoul Olympics Boxing Ends in Controversy". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  3. ^ "The champ retires at 55". Prisma world news review. 6 (9): 1. July 1988.
  4. ^ Agacino, Ricardo (September 1988). "Cuba and the US in the Ring". Cuba International (63): 45–46. ISSN 0011-2593.
  5. ^ "Lennox Lewis vs Riddick Bowe 88 Olympic Final". Retrieved 3 May 2017.