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Henry William Mallin (1 June 1892 – 8 November 1969) was an English middleweight amateur boxer.

Harry Mallin
Mallin in the early 1920s
Personal information
Full nameHenry William Mallin
Born(1892-06-01)1 June 1892
Shoreditch, England
Died8 November 1969(1969-11-08) (aged 77)
Lewisham, England
Height5 ft 10.5 in (180 cm)
Weight classMiddleweight
ClubEton Manor Boys and Old Boys Club, Hackney Wick. Metropolitan Police Amateur Boxing Club

He came originally from Hackney Wick, his younger brother was the Olympic boxer Fred Mallin. He lived in Dartmouth Park, North London and was a police officer with the Metropolitan Police.[1]

Boxing careerEdit

Mallin was British Champion five years in a row from 1919 to 1923. He was also world champion in the middleweight class between 1920 and 1928. He never lost an amateur bout and never turned professional.

In the 1920 Summer Olympics he won a gold medal in middleweight division, defeating Canadian boxer Georges Prud'Homme in the final. In 1924 he went on to win another gold in the same weight class. In that year, he met Roger Brousse of France in the quarter-finals, and after the decision came down 2–1 in favour of Brousse, Mallin showed the referee fresh teeth marks on his chest, which further examination proved that Mallin had definitely been bitten by his French opponent. Brousse was disqualified, clearing the way for Mallin to win his second gold medal. After the incident versus Brousse, Mallin was referred to by one reporter as "the unroasted human beef of Old England".[2]

Mallin was the first to successfully defend an Olympic title in two consecutive games, and remained for 92 years the only British boxer to do so until the victory of Nicola Adams at the 2016 Summer Olympics[1]

Subsequently, he managed the British Olympic boxing teams at the 1936 and 1952 Summer Olympics.[3]

In 1937, he achieved the distinction of being the first British television sports commentator, when he gave commentary on two boxing matches that were broadcast by the BBC from Alexandra Palace.[3]

Henry Mallin died at a nursing home in Lewisham in November 1969.


  1. ^ a b Burrowa, Thomas; Fagge, Nick (20 August 2016). "'I've made history!' Nicola Adams wins gold as she becomes the first Briton to defend an Olympic boxing title in 92 years". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  2. ^ Bert Randolph Sugar; Teddy Atlas (January 2011). The Ultimate Book of Boxing Lists. Running Press. pp. 65–. ISBN 0-7624-4013-9.
  3. ^ a b "Harry Mallin". Retrieved 21 August 2016.