When Roy Jones Jr. steps into the ring to take on legendary heavyweight champ Iron Mike Tyson, most boxing fans will remember how Superman dominated his opponents in the early to late 1990’s. But those of us who watched Olympic Boxing in the 1980’s remember Jones for the most egregious gold medal non-decision in history. Roy Jones Jr. was a heavy favorite heading to the 1988 Olympics. Back in the 80’s, the way to rise to stardom in boxing was to first win an Olympic gold medal. Let’s have a closer look at Superman’s past so you can plan ahead your bets against their Mike Tyson Odds & Mike Tyson Prop Bets.
Boxing Lines | Roy Jones Jr. and the 1988 Olympics
The 1984 U.S. Boxing Team produced champions Pernell Whittaker, Mark Breland, and Meldrick Taylor. Another member of the 1984 boxing squad, Jerry Page, won a close brawl with South Korean fighter Kim Dong-kil.
Page’s close, yet controversial, victory would lead to the most impossible to understand gold medal in history. In 1988, Olympic boxing judges robbed Roy Jones Jr and handed the gold to Park si-Hun. Before delving into Superman’s fight with si-Hun, first, it’s important to understand exactly how big of an Olympic star Jones Jr. was.
Jones Jr.’s amateur record was a staggering 121-13. He won gold medals at the 1984 National Jr. Olympics. He won gold at both the 1986 and 1987 National Golden Gloves Tournaments.
Heading into the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Jones Jr. was the best fighter on a team that included Ray Mercer and Michael Carbajal. Superman mowed through his earlier opponents. Nobody believed Park si-Hun had a shot against Roy. Even Park si-Hun knew he wasn’t going to beat Roy Jones Jr.
Leading up to the gold medal bout, the judges had declared si-Hun the winner in a quarterfinal bout with Vincenzo Nardiello. The Italian fighter was distraught that he threw himself onto the canvas and balled like a child.
They had to drag Nardiello off the mat and out of the stadium. Anybody who watched si-Hun battle Nardiello had an aching feeling that some sort of precedent had been set. Also, after Page got the win over King Dong-kil in 1984, rumors swirled that more than one South Korean Olympic official had declared that the nation would get “payback” when Seoul hosted the Olympics in 1988.
The table was set for the fix. It’s still hard to believe that they went through with the fix after watching the three rounds. Not only did Roy Jones win the fight, he dominated si-Hun.
Jones Jr. connected on 86 punches. Park si-Hun touched Roy just 32 times. Twice, the judge had to call a standing 8 count when Park si-Hun got into trouble. There’s just no way to believe Park si-Hun won the fight.
Even si-Hun knew he lost. He stood there, embarrassed, head hung low during the medal ceremony. After the fight, as they announced the winner, Park si-Hun told Superman, “I can’t believe they’re doing this to you.”
Park recently said that winning gold turned into a nightmare. “I didn’t want my hand to be raised but it did go up and my life became gloomy because of that.”
Roy Jones Jr. admits that right after the decision he thought about giving up boxing. But, after looking into the eyes of the kids on his boxing team, he decided to fight even harder. “How could I go around talking to kids about not giving up if I gave up myself?” Jones Jr. said.
On Nov. 28, most attention will be on Mike Tyson, and rightfully so. But Iron Mike knows, as does every boxing fan, that when he steps into the ring, he’s going to face one of the toughest, most determined fighters in history, a boxer that got over and excelled from the most atrocious Olympic decision ever.
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