Olympic Champion as Laszlo Papp and Julius Torma shined in the Oslo 1949 European Boxing Championships25 May 2020
The Dublin 1947 European Boxing Championships has set up new record in terms of number of boxers and after that event the next edition was held in Oslo, Norway two years later. London 1948 Olympic Champion and boxing icons of their countries Hungary’s Laszlo Papp and Czechoslovakia’s Julius Torma won their weight classes in 1949.
The first competition day of the event was June 13 while the finals and the bronze medal matches were held on June 17 in 1949. The venue of the 1949 European Boxing Championships was the Bislet Stadium in Oslo.
The number of the boxers was 93 in the 1949 European Boxing Championships which was slightly less than in 1947. The following 16 nations attended in the eighth edition of the European Boxing Championships in Oslo: Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Sweden and Yugoslavia.
Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy attended with maximum number of eight boxers in the 1947 European Boxing Championships. Spain impressed in 1947 but their boxers did not travel to the Oslo 1949 edition.
It was the first European Boxing Championships where the host country did not win any gold medal. The local Norwegian team failed to get a simple medal on home soil, all of their hopes lost their fights in the preliminary and quarter-finals rounds.
Hungary won the medal table in 1930 and in 1934 European Boxing Championships and after 15 years of break their team ranked as No.1 in Oslo. Italy achieved two titles as the Hungarians while France, Czechoslovakia, Ireland and Poland each earned one gold medal in 1949. Almost all of the participating nations, finally 12 countries claimed at least one bronze medal in the 1949 European Boxing Championships in Oslo.
Hungary’s Jozsef Bednai lost in the semi-finals to Spain’s eventual winner Luis Martinez Zapata in the semi-finals of the 1947 European Boxing Championships but he was able to advance to the final of the flyweight two years later. The Hungarian boxer was nervous in the final against Poland’s 1948 Olympian Janusz Kasperczak and claimed only silver as the main favourite.
Giovanni Zuddas was silver medallist at the London 1948 Olympic Games which he changed into gold in Oslo one year later. The Cagliari-based boxer defeated Denmark’s Henning Jensen in the final of the bantamweight claiming Italy’s first gold in the event. Hungary’s Tibor Csik was the Olympic Champion in this weight class from London but he suffered an unexpected loss to Finland’s Sulo Seitola in the first preliminary stage.
France’s lone gold medal in 1949 was achieved by Jacques Bataille who was stronger than Belgium’s Louis Van Hoeck in the third final of the European Boxing Championships. Bataille never claimed the national title in France but became European Champion in 1949. Ireland amazed in the 1939 and in the 1947 editions but their Maxie McCullagh was able to continue their strong results in Oslo taking the title of the lightweight.
Czechoslovakia’s Hungarian-descent Julius Torma moved down to the welterweight after his bronze medal in 1947. He earned the gold medal at the London 1948 Olympic Games and arrived to the venue of the European Boxing Championships as top favourite. The 27-year-old boxer had a superiority over his rivals in Oslo and knocked out Denmark’s Victor Jörgensen in the final.
Hungary’s boxing icon Laszlo Papp was also gold medallist at the London 1948 Olympic Games as Julius Torma. The 22-year-old Hungarian started his campaign in Oslo with a KO success over Belgium’s Arthur Acha in the quarter-finals. Papp defeated his main rival Italy’s Ivano Fontana in the semi-finals and continued his winning path against Sweden’s lone finalist Stig Sjölin.
Italy’s Giacomo Di Segni was already 30 by the time of the Oslo 1949 European Boxing Championships but he had the experiences to Czechoslovakia’s Ota Rademacher in the final of the light heavyweight. Hungary never won the heavyweight in any of the previous editions but their Laszlo Bene defeated all of his three rivals in Oslo including France’s Raymond Degl’Innocenti in the final.
List of the winners in the 1949 European Boxing Championships
- Flyweight (50.8kg): Janusz Kasperczak, Poland
- Bantamweight (53.5kg): Giovanni Zuddas, Italy
- Featherweight (57.2kg): Jacques Bataille, France
- Lightweight (61.2kg): Maxie McCullagh, Ireland
- Welterweight (66.7kg): Julius Torma, Czechoslovakia
- Middleweight (72.6kg): Laszlo Papp, Hungary
- Light heavyweight (79.4kg): Giacomo Di Segni, Italy
- Heavyweight (+79.4kg): Laszlo Bene, Hungary