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László Papp
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-34311-0002, Laslo Papp.jpg
Papp, 13 December 1955
Real name László Papp
Nickname(s) Laci Papp
Rated at Middleweight
Light Middleweight
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Nationality Hungarian
Born (1926-03-25)25 March 1926
Budapest, Hungary
Died 16 October 2003(2003-10-16) (aged 77)
Budapest, Hungary
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 29
Wins 27
Wins by KO 15
Losses 0
Draws 2
No contests 0

László Papp (25 March 1926 – 16 October 2003) was a Hungarian professional boxer from Budapest. A southpaw, he won gold medals in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, and the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia. In his final Olympic competition, he became the first boxer in Olympic history to win three successive gold medals. He made a remarkable achievement in Olympic boxing sport by winning 12 of his 13 Olympic fights without losing a round, dropping only one, in his last Olympic final, to American boxer José Torres. There would not be another triple gold medalist for 20 years, when Teófilo Stevenson won three, followed by Félix Savón as the latest one of the three men to accomplish the feat.

Amateur career

Papp was an Olympic gold medalist three times, at middleweight in London in 1948, then as a light middleweight in Helsinki in 1952 and in Melbourne in 1956. Papp also was the European amateur middleweight champion as a middleweight in 1949 at Oslo and at light middleweight at Milan 1951. He scored 55 first-round knockouts as an amateur, his record was 301-12-6.

Olympic results

1948 London (England)

  • Defeated Valfrid Resko (Finland) KO 2
  • Defeated Jean Welter (Luxembourg) KO 1
  • Defeated Auguste Cavignac (Belgium) KO 1
  • Defeated Ivano Fontana (Italy) 3-0
  • Defeated John Wright (England) 3-0

1952 Helsinki (Finland)

  • Defeated Spider Webb (United States) KO 2
  • Defeated Charlie Chase (Canada) KO 2
  • Defeated Petar Stankoff Spassoff (Bulgaria) 3-0
  • Defeated Eladio Oscar Herrera (Argentina) 3-0
  • Defeated Theunis Jacobus van Schalkwyk (South Africa) 3-0

1956 Melbourne (Australia)

  • Defeated Alberto Saenz (Argentina) KO 3
  • Defeated Zbigniew Pietrzykowski (Poland) 3-0
  • Defeated José Torres (USA) 2-1

Professional career

Papp, despite having hand trouble, turned professional in 1957 and immediately began rising in the Middleweight ranks. However, Hungary was a Communist country at the time and professional boxing was not permitted. Papp had to travel to Vienna, in Austria, for training and for his fights. In spite of this disadvantage, he beat several top-ranking contenders for the European Middleweight title, including veteran Tiger Jones, French champion Hippolyte Annex and Chris Christensen. After Christensen, Papp defeated Randy Sandy of the United States. In 1964, after Papp had already signed up for the world championship title bout, Hungary's Communist leadership brought his professional career to an end by denying him an exit visa. The reason for this was that professional boxing was not permitted in Communist Hungary and the government resented Papp's successful by-passing of the restriction by staging his fights abroad.

Papp is one of the few boxers in history to ever retire undefeated in the ring. His fighting record was 27 wins, 2 draws, and no losses. 15 of his wins were by way of knockout.


László Papp died in Budapest in 2003.


Papp was inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 2001. In 1989 WBC President José Sulaimán gave Papp an award for 'Best amateur and professional boxer of all time' and granted him honorary champion status of the World Boxing Council.

Budapest's Papp László Sportaréna, a multipurpose building best known as a concert venue and the home ice of the Hungarian national hockey team, is named in his honor.

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