Many surprises and new champions in the Rome 1967 European Boxing Championships

19 June 2020 News

The 1967 edition of the European Boxing Championships was held in Italy’s capital city in Rome where Poland regained its top place in the medal standings. The 17th European Boxing Championships recognized many surprises in Rome, several of the multiple champions lost their fights in Rome.

Rome hosted the 1960 edition of the Olympic Games where their boxers impressed in the front of the home crowd. Milan welcomed the participants of the European Boxing Championships in 1937 and in 1951 and Rome became the second Italian city which could host the continental event.

The first competition day of the European Boxing Championships was May 25 while the finals were held on June 2. Two rounds of preliminaries were held at the flyweight (51kg), at the featherweight (57kg), at the lightweight (60kg), at the light welterweight (63.5kg), at the welterweight (67kg), and at the light middleweight (71kg) categories.

The number of the boxers was 171 in the Rome 1967 European Boxing Championships which was near to its record. Berlin saw the fights of 172 boxers in 1965 and Rome produced almost the same amount of fights two years later in the final phase of the Mexico City 1968 Olympic cycle.

The following 26 nations attended in the Rome 1967 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, England, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, host Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales, West Germany and Yugoslavia.

Six out of the 26 countries as Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Soviet Union, and West Germany attended with maximum number of ten boxers in the 1967 European Boxing Championships. Belgium and Wales returned to the European Boxing Championships after a short break.

The Soviet Union dominated the 1963 and 1965 editions of the European Boxing Championships but Poland regained its top place in Rome. The Polish team had five finalists and among them their boxers won three titles. The Soviet Union also claimed three gold medals but only one silver while host Italians became third in the team rankings with their two titles in Rome.

Romania and Czechoslovakia won also one weight class in the 1967 edition where only 13 nations shared the medals. Next to the gold medallist nations, West Germany, East Germany, Turkey, England, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Hungary and France earned at least one bronze medal in Rome.

West Germany’s Hans Freistadt won the flyweight (51kg) in the 1965 European Boxing Championships but he lost already his opening preliminary fight to Soviet Union’s Petr Gorbatov. The silver medallist from the 1965 edition Poland’s Hubert Skrzypczak eliminated the Soviet boxer in the semi-finals and continued his winning path against Romania’s Constantin Ciuca in the finals of the Rome event.

Soviet Union’s Rome 1960 Olympic Champion and three-time European Champion Oleg Grigoryev was the main favourite for the gold at the bantamweight (54kg) but he lost to Poland’s 1965 silver medallist Jan Galazka on their re-match in Rome. The Polish boxer was not enough fresh in his next fight in the quarter-finals and lost to the eventual winner Romanian Nicolae Giju.

Ryszard Petek was not the main favourite at the featherweight (57kg) but he defeated all of his rivals including Turkey’s new surprise Seyfi Tatar in the final of the event. Poland’s third gold medal in the 1967 European Boxing Championships was achieved by Tokyo 1964 Olympic Champion Jozef Grudzien. Following his silver in 1965, the 28-year-old Polish advanced to the final of the lightweight (60kg) once again but this time he won the final against Yugoslavia’s Zvonimir Vujin.

Poland’s No.1 Jerzy Kulej won the 1963 and 1965 editions of the European Boxing Championships and also the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games and arrived to Rome as one of the top stars of the event. The 27-year-old Polish boxer defeated Soviet Union’s Yevgeniy Frolov in 1965 but he suffered an unexpected loss to his opponent in Rome which meant Kulej claimed only silver medal.

Soviet Union’s three-time European Champion Ricardas Tamulis was the biggest name of the welterweight (67kg) in Rome but he also lost his opening preliminary bout as Freistadt and Grigoryev. He lost to Romania’s Ion Hodosan by TKO in the preliminaries but the final line-ups were Czechoslovakia’s Bohumil Nemecek and East Germany’s Manfred Wolke. The experienced Czechoslovakian claimed gold at the Rome 1960 Olympic Games and regained his top position in the Italian capital seven years later.

Soviet Union’s Viktor Ageyev impressed at the 1965 European Boxing Championships at the light middleweight (71kg) and he could repeat that performance in 1967 after beating Poland’s Witold Stachurski. The first Italian gold medal was achieved by 23-year-old Mario Casati who defeated all of his four opponents including Soviet Union’s Aleksey Kiselev in the final of the middleweight (75kg).

Soviet Union’s Lithuanian star Danas Pozniakas claimed silver medal at the light heavyweight (81kg) in 1963 and gold in 1965. The 28-year-old experienced boxer was too strong for his rivals and did not give any chance to West Germany’s Peter Gerber. Soviet Union’s Aleksandr Izosimov was the titleholder of the heavyweight (+81kg) but he lost already his quarter-final contest in Rome. The tenth gold medal was achieved by Italy’s Pier Mario Baruzzi who defeated England’s lone finalist Peter Boddington.

List of the winners in the 1967 European Boxing Championships

  • Flyweight (51kg): Hubert Skrzypczak, Poland
  • Bantamweight (54kg): Nicolae Giju, Romania
  • Featherweight (57kg): Ryszard Petek, Poland
  • Lightweight (60kg): Jozef Grudzien, Poland
  • Light welterweight (63.5kg): Valeriy Frolov, Soviet Union
  • Welterweight (67kg): Bohumil Nemecek, Czechoslovakia
  • Light middleweight (71kg): Viktor Ageyev, Soviet Union
  • Middleweight (75kg): Mario Casati, Italy
  • Light heavyweight (81kg): Danas Pozniakas, Soviet Union
  • Heavyweight (+81kg): Pier Mario Baruzzi, Italy

In featured image: Bohumil Nemecek

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