GeeBee alias Gunnar Bärlund and Istvan Enekes were the stars of the Budapest 1934 European Boxing Championships16 May 2020
The fourth edition of the European Boxing Championships took place in the same venue as in 1930. It was held in Budapest, Hungary once again from April 11 until the 15th in 1934. Hungary’s Olympic Champion Istvan Enekes became the second two-time European Champion after Denmark’s Thyge Petersen. Finland’s first European title was achieved by GeeBee alias Gunnar Bärlund at the heavyweight.
The 1934 European Boxing Championships took place two years after the Los Angeles Olympic Games where Europe claimed only one gold medal. The weight classes remained the same as all of the previous editions therefore the boxers could fight for the titles from the flyweight up to the heavyweight in Budapest.
The number of the boxers was already 74 in the 4th European Boxing Championships in Budapest in 1934. The following 13 nations attended in the fourth edition of the European Boxing Championships in Budapest: Austria, Czechoslovakia, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Sweden.
Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland competed with maximum number of eight boxers in the 1934 European Boxing Championships. England returned to the event after nine years of break and their boxers impressed in the Budapest edition. Czechoslovakia did not attend any of the previous three editions of the European Boxing Championships and made their debut with five boxers in 1934.
Hungary won the medal standings once again in 1934 with their two gold and four silver medals. England achieved also two titles but only one further bronze in Budapest where the third best team was Germany. Italy, Austria and Finland also earned one gold medal in 1934 as the Germans while Poland, Sweden and Norway were also there on the medal table.
England’s first title was taken by Patrick Palmer who defeated two experienced boxers as Poland’s Szapsel Rotholc and Hungary’s Olympian Frigyes Kubinyi in the final. His fellow David MacCleave also defeated a Hungarian boxer in his final and he also managed to win that contest against Istvan Varga.
Istvan Enekes won the gold medal in the 1930 European Boxing Championships and became the lone European who took gold at the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games. The Hungarian moved up to the bantamweight but he was too experienced to all of his rivals in Budapest. The 23-year-old boxer defeated a younger hope Sweden’s Stig Cederberg in the final of the event and became two-time European Champion. The last edition of the Istvan Enekes Memorial Tournament was held for the youth boxers in Budapest on February 2020.
The Italians won the lightweight in 1930 and their next boxer in that weight class Marino Facchin claimed the title at the 1934 European Boxing Championships. The 21-year-old Italian was slightly better than Hungary’s Imre Harangi who claimed later gold at the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games.
Lajos Szigeti achieved silver in the 1930 edition of the European Boxing Championships which the two-time Olympian changed into gold four years later. The 28-year-old Hungarian moved up to the middleweight and met for the title with another silver medallist from 1930, Poland’s Witold Majchrzycki. Their final was one of the most anticipated in the final competition day in Budapest where Szigeti managed a narrow success.
Austria’s first ever European title was bagged by 25-year-old Hans Zehetmayer who triumphed over Poland’s Roman Antczak at the light heavyweight. Finland sent only one boxer to the 1934 European Boxing Championships but Gunnar Bärlund earned the title of the heavyweight. He defeated a future star Germany’s Herbert Runge in the final and became Finland’s first European Champion. His nickname was GeeBee which is the name of Finland’s international tournament currently and the last edition took place on March 2020.
List of the winners in the 1934 European Boxing Championships
- Flyweight (50.8kg): Patrick Palmer, England
- Bantamweight (53.5kg): Istvan Enekes, Hungary
- Featherweight (57.2kg): Otto Kästner, Germany
- Lightweight (61.2kg): Marino Facchin, Italy
- Welterweight (66.7kg): David MacCleave, England
- Middleweight (72.6kg): Lajos Szigeti, Hungary
- Light heavyweight (79.4kg): Hans Zehetmayer, Austria
- Heavyweight (+79.4kg): Gunnar Bärlund, Finland