WBC News: Max Schmeling

07.02.05 - From WBC President Jose Sulaiman: The World Boxing Council declares Wednesday, February 2, a day of world mourning in boxing for the sad death of the extraordinary heavyweight champion, Max Schmeling of Germany, who will continue to be a legend forever. Boxing in the 20th Century was led to greatness by two unforgettable immortals: Schmeling and Muhammad Ali, who wrote golden pages of drama, prestige, courage and talent in world boxing..

A number of members of the WBC and I were planning to travel to Hamburg, Germany, this year on September 27 to participate in the homage to be rendered to Mr. Schmeling on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Now, after his unfortunate death, the WBC will place a championship belt on the coffin at his funeral.

In 1994, the World Boxing Council presented Max Schmeling with the prestigious green-gold WBC belt. May this extraordinary boxer rest in peace!

Some interesting data and numbers on the outstanding life and career of this great boxer:

He was born on September 28, 1905, in Klein Luckaw, Brandenburg, Germany. His full name was Maximilian Adolph Otto Siegfred Schmeling. His boxing career started in 1924, and in 1948 he fought his last bout. At the time of his retirement, he had accumulated a record of 70 fights, of which he won 39 by knockout, 14 by points, and three by foul. He had four draws, and was defeated five times by decision and five times by knockout. He gained most of his fame when he defeated Joe Louis, who was by then considered invincible, and who in turn defeated Schmeling years after in their rematch.

Max Schmeling, under the management of Joe Jacobs, won the world heavyweight belt on June 12, 1930 with a victory by foul in the fourth round over Jack Sharkey.

Upon his retirement - after serving his country in World War II - he became a successful entrepreneur. He was also a kind and true friend to Joe Louis, whom he helped in his time of need. Max Schmeling helped many other people, as well.

In 1971, he was decorated with the Honor Federal Cross of Germany. In 1979 he was received by the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, and in 1987 the press elected him as “The Most Important Athlete of All Time in Germany.” A sports pavilion in Berlin was named after him, as well as the most famous and modern boxing arena in Germany.

“The Night of the Champions” that the WBC has been planning will take place in Las Vegas at the end of April or during the first two weeks of May. The WBC is planning to have all of the current WBC champions present, and as many as possible of the past champions. The backbone and solid foundation of the WBC remain mainly in the WBC world champions, most of whom have been recognized as the best in boxing in the second half of the 20th century.

On February 14, the World Boxing Council will be celebrating its 42nd anniversary, as it was founded on February 14, 1963 in Mexico City with Mr. Onslow Fane, from Great Britain, as the founding President.

For this important occasion, I am asking all the members of the Board of Governors, all the presidents of the boxing confederations, and all the presidents of the national boxing commissions to organize a brunch, luncheon, dinner, or ceremony to celebrate our 42nd anniversary.

This will show the world the unity of an organization that has risen up and continued to be the most respected and credible organization in the world of boxing today.

I would appreciate from the bottom of my heart the enthusiasm and dedication in your efforts to celebrate this coming February 14.

Article posted on 07.02.2005

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