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Why Wasn't Ali Ceremony at Boxing Venue?

ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Boxing

August 05, 1996|TIM KAWAKAMI

ATLANTA — Muhammad Ali received a duplicate of his lost 1960 light-heavyweight gold medal at the Georgia Dome on Saturday night, surrounded by basketball players, and Jerry Dusenberry, the president of USA Boxing, has no idea why.

"Why was it done on a basketball court? Why wasn't it done here at the amateur boxing venue?" Dusenberry said Sunday afternoon. "I'm really upset about it."

Nobody at USA Boxing, the governing body of American amateur boxing, knew the International Olympic Committee would be giving Ali the medal--during prime-time NBC coverage of the Dream Team gold-medal game--until a mention of it was in a newspaper, Dusenberry said.

Ali made his first appearance at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and took in all of the gold-medal matches Sunday.

Dusenberry went on to criticize NBC for its lack of boxing coverage in these Games--"I think it's sad, I think it's a travesty of justice"--and the presence of several professional promoters and managers on the floor of Alexander Memorial Coliseum around American fighters.

Dusenberry was pleased, however, that the IOC recently appointed a committee to investigate new revelations that Park Si-Hun's decision victory in the light-middleweight gold-medal match over American Roy Jones Jr. in the 1988 Seoul Games was a result of documented bribery.

The committee is to make a report before an IOC executive board meeting in October.

"Our fingers are crossed--hopefully, we'll get some sort of resolution on this matter," said Dusenberry, who said, if the IOC decides that Jones' victory was stolen, Jones can either be issued a duplicate medal or Park's medal can be taken away and given to Jones.

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