Mate Parlov

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Mate Parlov
Mate Parlov 1972.jpg
Parlov in 1972
Real nameMate Parlov
Weight(s) light heavyweight, cruiserweight
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Nationality Croat
Born(1948-11-16)16 November 1948
Split, SFR Yugoslavia
Died29 July 2008(2008-07-29) (aged 59)
Pula, Croatia
Boxing record
Total fights29
Wins by KO12
No contests0

Mate Parlov (16 November 1948 – 29 July 2008) was a Croatian boxer, Olympic gold medalist who was European and World Champion as an amateur and as a professional. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Croatia Republic in Central Europe

Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy. Its capital, Zagreb, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics.

Boxing combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

Olympic Games Major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.



Mate Parlov was born in Split, the older of two brothers in a Croatian family originally from the village of Ričice near the town of Imotski. In 1958, the family moved to Pula.

Croats Slavic ethnic group

Croats or Croatians are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group native to Croatia. Croats mainly live in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but are also recognized minorities in such countries as Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Imotski Town in Split-Dalmatia, Croatia

Imotski is a small town situated on the northern side of Biokovo massif, Dalmatian Hinterland, Croatia. As of 2011, the town population is 4,757 and the total municipal population is 10,764. Imotski has a very mild and pleasant climate with many sunny days.

Pula City in Istria County, Croatia

Pula is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia and the eighth largest city in the country, situated at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula, with a population of 57,460 in 2011. It is known for its multitude of ancient Roman buildings, the most famous of which is the Pula Arena, one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters, and its beautiful sea. The city has a long tradition of wine making, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism. It was the administrative centre of Istria from ancient Roman times until superseded by Pazin in 1991.


In his amateur career he participated in 310 matches and lost 13. [8] He was 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 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, winning the gold medal in the light heavyweight division. [9]

The Men's 1974 World Amateur Boxing Championships were held in Havana, Cuba from August 17 to 30. The first edition of this competition, held two years before the Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was organised by the world governing body for amateur boxing AIBA. A total number of 274 boxers from 45 countries entered.

Havana Capital city of Cuba

Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km2 (301.77 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometers (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometers (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

Professional career

Parlov won twelve of his first thirteen fights as a professional boxer 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, scheduled for eight rounds, he was defeated following the referee's decision. In a rematch, he and Muhammad struggled to a ten-round draw. After successfully defending the European title three times, he met Miguel Angel Cuello in Milan 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 Cuello withdrew due to an injury. Parlov knocked out Cuello in the ninth round to become the first professional world champion from a communist country. Parlov lost the title on his second defense and would later challenge for the World cruiser-weight title without success. [10]

Matthew Saad Muhammad was an American professional boxer who was the WBC Light Heavyweight Champion of the World for two-and-a-half years.

World Boxing Council organization

The World Boxing Council (WBC) is one of four major organizations which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). Many historically high-profile bouts have been sanctioned by the organization with various legendary fighters having been recognised as WBC World champions. All four organizations recognise the legitimacy of each other, and each have interwoven histories dating back several decades.


In retirement, Parlov ran a coffee bar in Pula. He returned to boxing as coach of the Yugoslavian Olympic team prior to the 1984 Olympics, [9] when Yugoslav boxers achieved their best results ever: one gold, one silver and two bronzes. He later moved to Fažana near Pula, away from boxing and the public. In March 2008, he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and died four months later.

Boxing at the 1984 Summer Olympics took place in the Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California, United States. The boxing schedule began on July 29 and ended on August 11. Twelve boxing events were contested with the participation of 354 fighters from 81 countries.

Fažana Municipality in Istria County, Croatia

Fažana or Fasana is a town and municipality on the western coast of Istria, in Croatia.

Lung cancer cancer in the lung

Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas. The two main types are small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The most common symptoms are coughing, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

Private life

Mate Parlov was married to Laura Parlov with whom he had two children, daughter Mira and son Matko. He was an economist by profession, and had one graduate exam left before gaining the title of Master of Economics. [11]

The Master of Economics is a postgraduate master's degree in economics comprising training in economic theory, econometrics and / or applied economics.

Honors and awards

Amateur highlights

1969 – European Championships: Bucharest, Romania: Silver Medal (Middleweight)

Professional boxing record

24 Wins (12 knockouts, 12 decisions), 3 Losses (1 knockout, 2 decisions), 2 Draws [10]
Loss24–3–2 Flag of the United States.svg Marvin Camel UD1531 March 1980 Flag of Nevada.svg Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For inaugural WBC World Cruiserweight title.
Draw24–2–2 Flag of the United States.svg Marvin Camel PTS158 December 1979 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Split, Yugoslavia For inaugural WBC World Cruiserweight title.
Win24–2–1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Tony Mundine PTS1226 September 1979 Flag of Italy.svg Gorizia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy WBC World Cruiserweight title eliminator.
Win23–2–1 Flag of the United States.svg Joe MayeKO528 July 1979 Flag of Germany.svg Munich, Bavaria, West Germany
Loss22–2–1 Flag of the United States.svg Marvin Johnson TKO102 December 1978 Flag of Italy.svg Marsala, Sicily, Italy Lost WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win22–1–1 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg John Conteh SD1517 June 1978 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Belgrade, Yugoslavia Retained WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win21–1–1 Flag of the United States.svg Tony GreeneTKO628 April 1978 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Win20–1–1 Flag of Argentina.svg Miguel Angel Cuello KO97 January 1978 Flag of Italy.svg Milan, Lombardy, Italy Won WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win19–1–1 Flag of Germany.svg Leo KakolewiczTKO621 August 1977 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Rijeka, Yugoslavia
Win18–1–1 Flag of Norway.svg Harald SkogUD159 July 1977 Flag of Switzerland.svg Basel, Switzerland Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win17–1–1 Flag of Spain.svg Francois FiolPTS155 April 1977 Flag of Switzerland.svg Morges, Switzerland Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win16–1–1 Flag of France.svg Christian PonceletPTS105 March 1977 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Velenje, Yugoslavia
Draw15–1–1 Flag of the United States.svg Matthew Saad Muhammad PTS103 December 1976 Flag of Italy.svg Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Win15–1 Flag of Italy.svg Aldo TraversaroPTS1515 October 1976 Flag of Italy.svg Milan, Lombardy, Italy Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win14–1 Flag of the United States.svg Al BoldenKO911 September 1976 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Zagreb, Yugoslavia
Win13–1 Flag of Italy.svg Domenico AdinolfiTKO1110 July 1976 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Belgrade, Yugoslavia Won EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Loss12–1 Flag of the United States.svg Matthew Saad Muhammad PTS821 May 1976 Flag of Italy.svg Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Win12–0 Flag of Tonga.svg Maile HaumonaPTS1020 March 1976 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Win11–0 Flag of Fiji.svg Sentiki QataPTS106 March 1976 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win10–0 Flag of the United States.svg Macka FoleyTKO26 February 1976 Flag of Italy.svg Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Win9–0 Flag of Italy.svg Onelio GrandoPTS826 December 1975 Flag of Italy.svg Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Win8–0 Flag of the United States.svg Billy FreemanPTS1022 November 1975 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Skopje, Yugoslavia
Win7–0 Flag of the United States.svg Karl ZurheideKO130 October 1975 Flag of Italy.svg Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Win6–0 Flag of the United States.svg Johnny GriffinTKO56 October 1975 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Zagreb, Yugoslavia
Win5–0 Flag of Argentina.svg Jose Evaristo GomezPTS813 September 1975 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Pula, Yugoslavia
Win4–0 Flag of Spain.svg Jose Galvez VasquezPTS822 August 1975 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Split, Yugoslavia
Win3–0 Flag of Germany.svg Horst LangKO112 July 1975 Flag of Italy.svg Arenzano, Liguria, Italy
Win2–0 Flag of France.svg Robert AmoryTKO520 June 1975 Flag of Italy.svg Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Win1–0 Flag of Italy.svg Dante LazzariKO131 May 1975 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Opatija, Yugoslavia

See also

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  1. Giuliano Lebanore. Parlov: Mislim da će sve proć' dobro.
  2. IN MEMORIAM: MATE PARLOV / Odlazak boksača koji je volio pjesnike.
  3. [ dead link ]
  4. Mate Parlov se bori s teškom bolesti pluća – Vijesti. (31 March 2008). Retrieved on 2016-04-19.
  5. Nina Tomljanović; Petra Horvat (30 July 2008). "Umro Mate Parlov" [Mate Parlov dies]. Nacional (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  6. Umro Mate Parlov. (30 July 2008)
  7. Home | Radio 101. Retrieved on 19 April 2016.
  8. Mate Parlov. BoxRec. Retrieved on 19 April 2016.
  9. 1 2 3 Mate Parlov.
  10. 1 2 Mate Parlov. BoxRec. Retrieved on 19 April 2016.
  12. (in Slovene) Umrl boksarski šampion Mate Parlov. RTV Slovenia (30 July 2008)
  13. "Nagrada "Franjo Bučar" za životno djelo Milki Babović, Vladimiru Jankoviću i posmrtno Mati Parlovu" (in Croatian). Hrvatska Radiotelevizija. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
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
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg The Best Athlete of Yugoslavia
Succeeded by
Marijan Beneš
Nenad Stekić