Jurgen Blin dead aged 79: German boxer who fought Muhammad Ali and became European champion dies following illness

GERMAN boxer Jurgen Blin, who fought Muhammad Ali and became European heavyweight champion, has died aged 79.

The ex-fighter passed away on Saturday after suffering with kidney problems.



His biggest fight came on Boxing Day in 1971 when he took on legendary boxer Ali – losing by seventh round knockout.

But Blin received widespread praise for his performance and six months later got his reward by winning the European title.

He defeated Jose Manuel Urtain by unanimous decision in Madrid to claim the belt.

He won 31 of his 48 fights as a professional during a career that spanned nine years between 1964 and 1973.

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Blin also famously lost on two occasions to Joe Bugner.

The first was by split decision in 1971, before they rematched the following year and Bugner produced a knockout finish.

Blin's final bout came against Ron Lyle in Denver which he lost by TKO.

After hanging up his gloves, the German ran a pub and several snack bars.

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He also became a boxing trainer and worked with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In 2021, the retired boxer was burgled after the convicts found the hidden key to his safe.

They stole £187,000 – money he acquired the previous year after winning the lottery.

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