Thursday, October 19, 2017

On This Day: Willi Besmanoff Remembered

By Peter Silkov

Willi Besmanoff was a tough and game heavyweight boxer, who fought many of the division's top fighters during the 1950s and 60s. Born William David Besmanoff, on October, 4, 1932, in Munich, Bayen, Germany. Besmanoff was of Jewish heritage, and at the age of 11 years old, he was imprisoned in a concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany. His salvation was that his mother renounced her Jewish faith and converted to protestant. At 13 years old, Willi worked at a bakery, where his boss suggested he take up boxing.

Besmanoff turned professional in 1952, beginning his career as a light-heavyweight, but moving up to heavyweight by the late 50s. In 1956, Besmanoff would move to America, where he would have many of his fights. Besmanoff fought fighters such as Alex Buxton, Bob Baker, Archie Mcbride, Alex Miteff, Yvon Durelle, Roy Harris, Willie Pastrano, Pat McMurty, Archie Moore, Harold Carter, Mike Dejohn, Zora Folley, Eddie Machen, Sonny Liston, Tom McNeely, Marty Marshall, Howard King, Pete Rademacher, Alejandro Lavorante, Muhammad Ali, Bob Foster, Amos Johnson, Dave Zyglewicz and George Chuvalo.

Willi never became a top contender or gained a world title shot, but he had the reputation as a very tough, value for money fringe contender, who always gave his all in every fight.

Besmanoff’s final fight came on August 1, 1967, when he was stopped in 3 rounds by Dave Zyglewicz. Besmanoff retired with a final record of (51-34-8, 19koes).

Besmanoff, who learned to bake when he apprenticed at a bakery, would go on and open several bakeries around the U.S.

Willie Besmanoff died on October 20, 2010, aged 78 years old.

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1 comment:

  1. Many people come and many of them die, but they always remain in heart. This post was really needed for recalling such a legendary boxer!