Boxing Legend Max Schmeling dies at age 99


Bench Warmer
Jul 24, 2004
Montreal Canada

BERLIN, Germany -- The boxing world has been paying tribute to the former world heavyweight champion Max Schmeling, who has died at the age of 99.

Schmeling's foundation said the former champion, one of Germany's biggest sports idols, died Wednesday at his home in Hollenstedt, northwest Germany, according to his foundation in Hamburg.

Schmeling was buried Friday in a ceremony attended by a small circle of friends, the foundation told The Associated Press. It did not say where the funeral took place nor what the cause of death was.

German Schmeling held the world title from 1930 to 1932 and in his later career was forced to fight against attempts by the emerging Nazi regime to champion him, and the resulting prejudices that came with it.

In his later years he would offer his advice to the Klitschko brothers who would both go on to emulate him by claiming versions of the world heavyweight title.

The Klitschkos' personal manager Bernd Boente said the brothers had lost an idol who had a major impact upon their careers.

Boente told the Press Association: "The Klitschkos found Max Schmeling a close friend and they visited him at his house on a number of occasions.

"He was a mentor to them and a symbol of everything they tried to achieve. He always told them they had to go to America if they were to succeed, and they took his advice."

Schmeling, who was born in September 1905 in Brandenburg, became the first heavyweight to win the world title on a foul.

Protesting a low blow in his bout against American Jack Sharkey at Yankee Stadium in 1930, the officials agreed and crowned Schmeling as Europe's first champion.

Schmeling lost the title in a rematch with Sharkey two years later, but achieved arguably his greatest success in 1936 when he knocked down and stopped the previously unbeaten American prospect Joe Louis in a non-title match.

Two years later, by which time Louis was champion, the rematch was unfairly hyped into a good versus evil battle between the model American citizen and the German with perceived links to the emerging Nazi regime.

Louis' brutal one-round knockout of Schmeling signified an end to the German's top-level career.

In later life Schmeling came to be known as one of sport's finest ambassadors and a generous man who would help to pay a stricken Louis' medical bills.

British heavyweight great Sir Henry Cooper on Friday paid tribute to Schmeling and recalled meeting the former champion in London in the 1960s.

Cooper told the Press Association: "Max came up to the Thomas a Becket gym on a PR visit and I remember what a striking figure of a man he was.

"It is a great shame to lose one of boxing's great characters who will go down in history as one of the best."

Promoter Frank Warren added: "Max was a tough old guy and boxing certainly did not do him any harm.

"He was anti-Hitler and a really good human being. He has got to be up there amongst the finest European heavyweights."



Bench Warmer
Oct 26, 2004
One of the greatest champions of his time was defaced by uncle Sam due to political reasons. I have watched a few of his fights in ESPN classic, including the one against Joe Lewis that he got knocked down 3 times in the first round. The fight reminds me of the Bahrain game, poor Max seemed to have been dosed or something, he hardly threw any punches in that first round.

btw, once Germany was defeated, Max was brought to USA and over the years, he was given his due publicity (history repeats itself, the way Ali was treated).


Bench Warmer
Jul 24, 2004
Montreal Canada
Schmelling was a pretty darn good fighter if not a great one. His knockout of the up and coming Joe Louis in 1936 was quite an accomplishment.

He was a good man that was unfairly linked with the Nazi government. In later years, he earned quite a bit of gratitude for being a good ambassador of the sport.



Dec 12, 2002
He was a true champion on and off the ring ,after he quit his boxing career he became a very succesful buiness man, it was amazing that when Joe Luis one of the most famous world champoin in usa struggilng from poverty it was Max who hepled out his old foe ,not only that he paid for his funeral service .
khak alam bar sare all those promoters who made tons of money from joe luis didn't help him ,but a German who lost his creerer brutally to his came to rescue his rival /
what a great story of heman being .