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Mate Parlov

Mate Parlov
Real name Mate Parlov
Rated at light heavyweight, cruiserweight
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Nationality Croat
Born (1948-11-16)November 16, 1948
Split, SFR Yugoslavia
Died July 29, 2008(2008-07-29) (aged 59)
Pula, Croatia
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 29
Wins 24
Wins by KO 12
Losses 3
Draws 2
No contests 0
Mate Parlov
Medal record
Men's Boxing
Competitor for  Yugoslavia
Olympic Games
1972 Munich Light Heavyweight
World Amateur Championships
1974 Havana Light Heavyweight
European Amateur Championships
1969 Bucharest Middleweight
1971 Madrid Light Heavyweight
1973 Belgrade Light Heavyweight

Mate Parlov (November 16, 1948 – July 29, 2008) was a Croatian boxer, and an Olympic gold medalist who was European and World Champion as amateur and as professional. Parlov is universally regarded as the greatest Croatian boxer of all time, as well as one of the greatest Croatian sportspeople of the 20th century.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]


  • Background 1
  • Amateur 2
  • Professional career 3
  • After boxing 4
  • Death 5
  • Honors and awards 6
  • Amateur highlights 7
  • Professional boxing record 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Mate Parlov was born in Split, but his origins were from the village of Ričice near the town of Imotski.


In his amateur career he participated in 276 matches and lost only 19.[8] During his amateur career, Parlov was an eight-time champion of Yugoslavia in the light heavyweight category (1967-1974), five-time champion of the Balkans (1970-1974), two-time champion of Europe (1971 in Madrid, and 1973 in Belgrade) and the world champion at the inaugural 1974 World Championships in Havana, Cuba. He won the Golden Glove award twice, in 1967 and 1969. He participated in the Munich 1972 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division.

Professional career

Parlov took the opportunity to turn professional and won twelve of his first thirteen fights before successfully challenging for the European light-heavyweight title. In 1976 he faced the future world champion Matthew Saad Muhammad. In their first fight in Milan, which was arranged for eight rounds, he was defeated following the referee's decision. In a rematch with Muhammad, they struggled to a ten round draw. After defending the European title three times, he met Miguel Angel Cuello for the WBC World light-heavyweight title in January 1978. The two men had been scheduled to meet in the quarter-finals at the Munich Olympics, but Cuetto had been forced to withdraw injured. Parlov knocked out the Argentine in the ninth round in Milan to become the first professional world champion coming from a communist country. Parlov lost the title on his second defense and would later challenge for the World cruiser-weight title without success.

After boxing

His final contact with boxing was in 1984 Olympics, when he was the Yugoslav coach. At those Olympics, Yugoslav boxers achieved their best results ever: one gold, one silver and two bronzes.

After he ended his active boxing career, he moved to Fažana near Pula, away from boxing and the public. He ran his coffee bar in Pula.


In March 2008, Parlov was diagnosed as having lung cancer. He died four months later.

Honors and awards

Amateur highlights

  • Record: 257–19
  • Eight-time champion of Yugoslavia
  • Five-time champion of the Balkans

Professional boxing record

24 Wins (12 knockouts, 12 decisions), 3 Losses (1 knockout, 2 decisions), 2 Draws [11]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 24-3-2 Marvin Camel UD 15 31/03/1980 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For inaugural WBC World Cruiserweight title.
Draw 24-2-2 Marvin Camel PTS 15 08/12/1979 Split, Yugoslavia For inaugural WBC World Cruiserweight title.
Win 24-2-1 Tony Mundine PTS 12 26/09/1979 Gorizia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy WBC World Cruiserweight title eliminator.
Win 23-2-1 Joe Maye KO 5 28/07/1979 Munich, Bayern, West Germany
Loss 22-2-1 Marvin Johnson TKO 10 02/12/1978 Marsala, Sicilia, Italy Lost WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win 22-1-1 John Conteh SD 15 17/06/1978 Belgrade, Yugoslavia Retained WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win 21-1-1 Tony Greene TKO 6 28/04/1978 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Win 20-1-1 Miguel Angel Cuello KO 9 07/01/1978 Milan, Lombardia, Italy Won WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win 19-1-1 Leo Kakolewicz TKO 6 21/08/1977 Rijeka, Yugoslavia
Win 18-1-1 Harald Skog UD 15 09/07/1977 Basel, Switzerland Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win 17-1-1 Francois Fiol PTS 15 05/04/1977 Switzerland Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win 16-1-1 Christian Poncelet PTS 10 05/03/1977 Velenje, Yugoslavia
Draw 15-1-1 Matthew Saad Muhammad PTS 10 03/12/1976 Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Win 15-1 Aldo Traversaro PTS 15 15/10/1976 Milan, Lombardia, Italy Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win 14-1 Al Bolden KO 9 11/09/1976 Zagreb, Yugoslavia
Win 13-1 Domenico Adinolfi TKO 11 10/07/1976 Belgrade, Yugoslavia Won EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Loss 12-1 Matthew Saad Muhammad PTS 8 21/05/1976 Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Win 12-0 Maile Haumona PTS 10 20/03/1976 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Win 11-0 Sentiki Qata PTS 10 06/03/1976 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 10-0 Macka Foley TKO 2 06/02/1976 Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Win 9-0 Onelio Grando PTS 8 26/12/1975 Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Win 8-0 Billy Freeman PTS 10 22/11/1975 Skopje, Yugoslavia
Win 7-0 Karl Zurheide KO 1 30/10/1975 Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Win 6-0 Johnny Griffin TKO 5 06/10/1975 Zagreb, Yugoslavia
Win 5-0 Jose Evaristo Gomez PTS 8 13/09/1975 Pula, Yugoslavia
Win 4-0 Jose Galvez Vasquez PTS 8 22/08/1975 Split, Yugoslavia
Win 3-0 Horst Lang KO 1 12/07/1975 Arenzano, Liguria, Italy
Win 2-0 Robert Amory TKO 5 20/06/1975 Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Win 1-o Dante Lazzari KO 1 31/05/1975 Opatija, Yugoslavia


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Nina Tomljanović; Petra Horvat (30 July 2008). "Umro Mate Parlov" [Mate Parlov dies] (in Croatian).  
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ (Slovene) RTV Slovenia Umrl boksarski šampion Mate Parlov
  10. ^ Boxing News and Views World Boxing Council News
  11. ^

External links

  • Professional boxing record for Mate Parlov from BoxRec
  • Olympiad Medal Results for 1972: Boxing 75-81kg (light-heavyweight) Men
  • Statistics and details
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Miguel Angel Cuello
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
7 January 1978 – 2 December 1978
Succeeded by
Marvin Johnson
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Miroslav Cerar
Marijan Beneš
Yugoslav Sportsman of the Year
1971, 1972
Succeeded by
Marijan Beneš
Nenad Stekić
Preceded by
Sreten Damjanović
Marijan Beneš
The Best Athlete of Yugoslavia
Succeeded by
Marijan Beneš
Nenad Stekić
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