He fought Ali: Hamburg boxing legend Jürgen Blin is dead

The sports city of Hamburg mourns the loss of one of its greatest representatives. Jürgen Blin died on Saturday at the age of 79. A fight against Muhammad Ali once gave the native of Fehmaran worldwide fame.

Jürgen Blin was once in the ring as a professional boxer in 48 fights. The 79-year-old’s biggest adversary, however, was serious kidney health issues. On Saturday night, Blin lost that last fight at Reinbek Hospital.

He fought against Ali: Jürgen Blin dies at 79

Son Jörg, who had recently visited his father in Reinbek hospital, confirmed this on Sunday. Jürgen Blin leaves behind two sons and his partner.


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Jürgen Blin, born in Burg on Fehmarn, could not celebrate his 79th birthday until April 24. Before celebrating success as a boxer in Hamburg, the son of a milker worked as a cabin boy and master butcher. At the same time, Jürgen Blin begins boxing training – with success. Blin won five Hamburg championship titles, as well as the German amateur heavyweight championship and the European championship title. The heavyweight boxer has won 30 of 48 fights.

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The fight of December 26, 1971 in Zurich made Jürgen Blin famous. The opponent was none other than Muhammad Ali, perhaps the greatest boxer of all time. It took seven rounds for Ali to knock out his Hamburg opponent. “I went too fast, I was hollowed out. If I had boxed more calmly, it might have lasted longer. But whatever. Not everyone is seven rounds against Ali, who mostly knocked out his opponents in the second or third round,” Blin later recalled in NDR “Sportclub.”

After his sports career, Jürgen Blin appeared mainly as an innkeeper, running “Jürgen Blin’s Bier- & Snackbar” at the main station until 2012. Curious: ARD sports journalist Waldemar Hartmann accidentally declared the former boxing professional dead during a TV show in 2007. “I thought I hadn’t heard correctly. Shortly after, some friends called me. I said to them: ‘Those who are said to be dead live longer'” , Blin told MOPO at the time.

Hamburg boxing legend Jürgen Blin: His grandson is a professional boxer

Hartmann said at the time that a colleague brought him the rumor of Jürgen Blin’s death. In fact, it was a tragic mix-up: Blin’s son Knut, who himself fought nine professional heavyweight bouts, died by suicide in 2004 at the age of 35.

The family’s sporting heritage has meanwhile been taken over by grandson Joscha Blin. The 24-year-old has been a professional boxer since December. Unlike his famous grandfather, however, Joscha fights in the middleweight division. “I would be happy if he succeeds,” said Jürgen Blin before his debut. The Hamburg legend has been through this again.

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