Kevin Barry wins Silver in Los Angeles 1984

Kevin Barry fought bravely at the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984 in the light-heavyweight division to become only the second New Zealand boxer to win an Olympic medal.

Having defeated Don Smith of Trinidad, Jonathon Kirisa of Uganda and John-Paul Nanga of Cameroon in the early rounds, Barry then came up against star of the American team Evander Holyfield in the semi-final.

They had a torrid fight and were both warned by the referee for fouls. A few seconds before the end of the second round Holyfield fouled
again, hitting after the ref had called “break,” and Barry was knocked to the canvas. He rose groggily and the fight was stopped. Holyfield was subsequently disqualified.

Numerous American team protests at the decision were dismissed. The result stood, but rather than proceeding to the gold medal bout,
Barry was deprived of his chance to fight for the Olympic title. He had been declared a knockout victim and therefore, under amateur boxing regulations, was not able to fight again for 28 days. The gold went automatically to Yugoslav Anton Josipovic, the winner of the other semi-final. Barry took the silver and beaten semi-finalists Holyfield and Mustapha Moussa, of Algeria, shared the bronze.

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