Hungary’s György Gedo won the debuting light flyweight at the Bucharest 1969 European Boxing Championships where Romania topped the medal table22 June 2020
The 1969 edition of the European Boxing Championships was held in Bucharest at the very first time where Romania and the Soviet Union both claimed four gold medals. The light flyweight (48kg) have been added to the official program of the European Boxing Championships as eleventh categories and its first champion became Hungary’s György Gedo who earned gold later also in the Olympic Games.
The first competition day of the 1969 European Boxing Championships was May 30 in Bucharest while the finals were held on June 8. Two rounds of preliminaries were held at the featherweight (57kg), at the lightweight (60kg), at the light welterweight (63.5kg), at the welterweight (67kg) and at the light middleweight (71kg) in Bucharest.
The number of the boxers was 180 in the Bucharest 1969 European Boxing Championships which was equal as the record-breaking 1959 Luzern edition. The following 25 nations attended in the Bucharest 1969 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, Greece, England, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales, West Germany and Yugoslavia.
Only four Eastern bloc countries as Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union attended with maximum number of eleven boxers in the Bucharest 1969 European Boxing Championships. Greece returned to the European Boxing Championships in Bucharest and competed after eight years of break.
The Soviet Union and Poland had big rivalries in the previous four European Boxing Championships but the medal table was won the Romanians in Bucharest with their four titles. The Soviet Union became the runner-up, Hungary the third with two gold medals while West Germany also earned a title in 1969.
Poland had five semi-finalists in the Bucharest 1969 European Boxing Championships but all of them lost their fights and became only bronze medallists. It was the first time since the Dublin 1947 edition when the Polish team was unable to take any gold medals in the European Boxing Championships. The Bulgarians had six guaranteed medallists in Bucharest as a record performance from their boxers.
Record number of seventeen countries claimed at least one bronze medal in the Bucharest 1969 European Boxing Championships. Romania, the Soviet Union, Hungary, West Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Poland, England, Denmark, East Germany, Finland, Ireland, Scotland and Spain all were on the medal table in 1969.
Hungary’s György Gedo attended at the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games at the age of 19 and those experienced paid off in Bucharest one year later. The light flyweight (48kg) was introduced at the 1969 European Boxing Championships and its first winner was the young Hungarian who defeated Italy’s Franco Udella in the final. His teammate Laszlo Orban, who was born also in 1949 as Gedo, won Hungary’s second gold after his triumph over Turkey’s Seyfi Tatar at the featherweight (57kg).
Romania’s Constantin Ciuca was silver medallist in 1967 which he changed to gold following his success over Soviet Union’s Nikolay Novikov in the final of the flyweight (51kg). The host nation’s second gold medal was achieved by Aurel Dumitrescu at the bantamweight (54kg) which remained a Romanian category after Nicolae Giju’s success in 1967. The Romanian boxer defeated France’s lone finalist Aldo Cosentino who later became a national coach.
Poland’s Ryszard Petek won the title of the featherweight (57kg) in 1967 but he lost his semi-final to Bulgaria’s Stoyan Pilichev at the lightweight (60kg) in Bucharest. The Bulgarian has done his best in the final but Romania’s Olympic Games bronze medallist Calistrat Cutov was too strong for him. The defending champion of the light welterweight (63.5kg) Yevgeniy Frolov of the Soviet Union earned his second European title.
East Germany’s Manfred Wolke won the gold medal at the welterweight (67kg) in the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games and arrived to Bucharest as the main favourite of the category. The 26-year-old East German boxer lost to Romania’s Victor Zilberman in the quarter-finals which was a surprise in Bucharest. The 22-year-old Romanian advanced to the final of the event but West Germany’s experienced Olympic bronze medallist Günther Meier stopped him in the title bout.
Soviet Union’s Viktor Ageyev won the light middleweight (71kg) at the 1965 and 1967 European Boxing Championships. Following his retirement from the active sport, his replacement Valeriy Tregubov continued the winning path of the Soviet Union after beating Italy’s Bruno Facchetti in the final. Soviet Union’s Vladimir Tarasenko had a tough final against Yugoslavia’s Croatian star Mate Parlov but he succeeded in that bout.
Soviet Union’s fourth gold medal in Bucharest was taken by their Lithuanian star 30-year-old Danas Pozniakas who became three-time European Champion in 1969 defending his throne against Romania’s Ion Manea in the final. Romania’s Ion Alexe attended at the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games which supported his success in Bucharest. He defeated his main rivals as West Germany’s Peter Hussing and Bulgaria’s Kiril Pandov at the heavyweight (+81kg).
List of the winners in the 1969 European Boxing Championships
- Light flyweight (48kg): György Gedo, Hungary
- Flyweight (51kg): Constantin Ciuca, Romania
- Bantamweight (54kg): Aurel Dumitrescu, Romania
- Featherweight (57kg): László Orbán, Hungary
- Lightweight (60kg): Calistrat Cutov, Romania
- Light welterweight (63.5kg): Valeriy Frolov, Soviet Union
- Welterweight (67kg): Günther Meier, West Germany
- Light middleweight (71kg): Valeriy Tregubov, Soviet Union
- Middleweight (75kg): Vladimir Tarasenko, Soviet Union
- Light heavyweight (81kg): Danas Pozniakas, Soviet Union
- Heavyweight (+81kg): Ion Alexe, Romania
In featured image: György Gedo