Former Olympic Champion Gyula Torok of Hungary passed away at the age of 75 in Budapest on Sunday (12/01/14) following a long fight against illness. Torok would have celebrated his 76th birthday on January 24.
The 1960 Rome Olympic Champion was born in Budapest’s industrial district in Kispest in 1938 where he started his boxing career at the age of 10 in the local club. His nickname was Beka (Frog) parlty perhaps as he was only 161cm tall, but inspite of that his aggressive fighting style made him a widely feared boxer during his successful career.
He was a member of the national squad during one of the golden eras of Hungarian boxing between 1958 and 1964 and his first success at the top level was a silver medal at the 1959 European Boxing Championships in Luzern, Switzerland.
Torok went on to win gold for his country at the 1960 Rome Olympics after a spectacular performance on route to the final. Four years later in Tokyo however, he was injured in the prelininary round and unable to progress further. Nonetheless, upon his retirement in 1967 he had still achieved an Olympic title and was a five-time National Elite Champion.
He continued his career as a coach in Hungary and from 1993 he was the Assistant Coach of the Hungarian national boxing squad until his retirement. The boxer received one of Hungary’s most prestigeous civic awards in 2008.
AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said “AIBA send our heartfelt condolances to his family whilst we along with the boxing community at large celebrate the life and achievements of such a great champion and coach. He made a huge contribution to our sport.”
Gyula Torok’s biography:
Date and Place Of Birth : Budapest, January 24, 1938
Died : Budapest, January 12, 2014
Height : 161 cm
His weight division : flyweight
Clubs : 1948-1949 – Kispesti AC
1950-1953 – Kistext
1954-1956 – Budapest Voros Lobogo
1957-1962 – MTK
1963-1965 – Tatabanyai Banyasz
1965-1967 – MTK
1960 – Rome Olympics, Rome, Italy – Gold medal
1959 – European Boxing Championships, Luzern, Switzerland – Silver medal
1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1964 – Hungarian National Championships – Gold medal