Medal count: Which American boxer has the most medals of all time?

There are five Americans tied for first place when it comes to Olympic medal counts.
Olympic Medals
Olympic Medals / Darren McCollester/GettyImages

The 2024 Paris Olympics are just around the corner and it's time to dig into a big of Olympic boxing history. Due to the way boxing is, the medal counts per athlete are relatively low, especially compared to sports like swimming which have numerous races and numerous chances to medal. Therefore, the American boxer with the most medals only has two. For comparison, Michael Phelps has 28 Olympic medals, and Simone Biles has 37 medals, the most in Olympic history.

There's a five-way tie for the no. 1 spot in boxing and it's held currently by Claressa Shields, Harry Spanjer, Charles Mayer, Oliver Kirk, and George Finnegan. The most well-known name on that list by far is Shields who still boxes professionally and even competes in MMA under the PFL banner. She won gold at middleweight in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Spanjer won his medals in 1904. He won gold in the lightweight division and silver in welterweight. I guess back then you could compete in multiple weight divisions at the same time. He's also only one of four boxers ever to win more than one medal in one Olympic year. That's pretty cool.

Claressa Shields is one of Americas most decorated American boxers

Mayer won his two medals in the same 1904 games that Spanjer did, marking a gold in middleweight and a silver in heavyweight. So we can add him to the list of boxers to win more than one medal in one Olympic year. The 1904 games must have been wild.

1904 was a great year for American boxing as Kirk also won his two medals that year. He won gold in both bantamweight and featherweight divisions. I see a trend forming here ... And we'll close it out with Finnegan who won gold in the flyweight and silver in the bantamweight divisions at the 1904 Olympics. I'm telling you, something was in the water in St. Louis that year.

In case you were wondering, if we opened it up to all boxers (not just Americans) we'd have a three way tie for first place with each boxer holding three Olympic medals. Laszlo Papp (Hungary) in 1948-56, Teofilo Stevenson (Cuba) in 1972-80, and Felix Savon (Cuba) in 1992-2000, according to the Guinness World Records.