Mate Parlov was the lone boxer wo defeated his throne at the Belgrade 1973 European Boxing Championships30 June 2020
The 20th edition of the European Boxing Championships was held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia where the Soviet Union ranked as No.1 in the medal table and in the team rankings. Yugoslavia’s Croatian light heavyweight (81kg) star Mate Parlov was the lone boxer in Belgrade who could defend his throne after Madrid.
The Munich 1972 Olympic Games saw impressive European successes where seven out of the eleven gold medals were achieved by the continent’s boxers. Yugoslavia’s capital hosted the European Boxing Championships in 1961 and after 12 years the continent’s most important event returned to Belgrade.
The first competition day of the 1973 European Boxing Championships was June 1 in Belgrade while the finals were held on June 9. Two rounds of preliminaries were held only at the featherweight (57kg) in Yugoslavia’s capital city where the venue of the continental event was the Pionir Hall.
The number of the boxers was 148 in the Belgrade 1973 European Boxing Championships which was less than the figures of the previous editions. The following 22 nations attended in the Belgrade 1973 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, England, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Wales, West Germany and Yugoslavia.
Poland, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia attended with maximum number of eleven boxers in the Belgrade 1973 European Boxing Championships. Italy missed the 1973 European Boxing Championships while Czechoslovakia, England, Ireland, Sweden and Turkey did not win any medals in Belgrade.
The Soviet Union won four out of the eleven gold medals in 1973 and regained its place on the top. Romania and Yugoslavia both earned two titles in the 20th edition of the European Boxing Championships. East Germany, France and the No.1 from 1971 Hungary each took one title in Belgrade.
Poland achieved five while Bulgaria four medals but their boxers were unable to get titles in the Yugoslavian capital. West Germany, Spain, Finland, Netherlands and Scotland claimed the remaining medals in the Belgrade 1973 European Boxing Championships.
Hungary’s György Gedo won the gold medal at the light flyweight (48kg) in the Munich 1972 Olympic Games and in the 1969 and 1971 editions of the European Boxing Championships. The Hungarian boxer missed the Belgrade event and in his absence Soviet Union’s Vladislav Zasypko won the title in the smallest weight class. The second gold medal of the Belgrade event was taken by Romania’s Constantin Gruiescu who defeated Spain’s lone finalist 19-year-old Vicente Rodriguez at the flyweight (51kg).
France’s Aldo Cosentino claimed silver medal in the 1969 European Boxing Championships and after a few more years of experiences he claimed gold at the bantamweight (54kg) in Belgrade. The 26-year-old French boxer defeated four opponents in Belgrade including Romania’s Mircea Tone in the final. Cosentino, who was born in Tunis in 1947, became later national coach of the French team.
Soviet Union’s Olympic Champion Boris Kuznetsov was unable to win his first preliminary fight against Romania’s Gabriel Pometcu at the featherweight (57kg). The Romanian boxer advanced to the semi-finals after three triumphs but in the last four he was defeated by East Germany’s Stefan Förster. The 23-year-old East German knocked out Yugoslavia’s Zoran Jovanovic in the final and claimed his nation’s lone gold medal in Belgrade.
Calistrat Cutov was European Champion at the lightweight (60kg) in 1969 while his younger brother Simion won that category in Belgrade. The 21-year-old Romanian was too smart for Soviet Union’s Vasiliy Solomin in the quarter-finals and he defeated also Poland’s Ryszard Tomczyk in the final. The host country’s first gold was taken by Marijan Benes at the light welterweight (63.5kg) with superb performance, he won all of his four fights by TKO and received also the Best Athlete of the Year in Yugoslavia.
Hungary’s Janos Kajdi won the welterweight (67kg) in the 1971 edition but he retired after the Munich 1972 Olympic Games. His new replacement 23-year-old Sandor Csjef continued the winning path of the Hungarians in this weight class in Belgrade where he defeated East Germany’s Manfred Weidner in the final.
Soviet Union’s Anatoliy Klimanov replaced Valeriy Tregubov at the light middleweight (71kg) in the national team but the 24-year-old Ukrainian remained on the top of the podium after beating Poland’s Wieslaw Rudkowski in the final. Soviet Union’s Munich 1972 Olympic Games winner Vyacheslav Lemeshev was in top form also in Belgrade and defeated all of his opponents at the middleweight (75kg).
Yugoslavia’s Mate Parlov earned silver medal at the middleweight (75kg) in 1969 and gold at the light heavyweight (81kg) in 1971. Parlov defeated all of his rivals in the Munich 1972 Olympic Games and became the first Croatian boxer who succeeded. The 25-year-old star was the main favourite for the gold medal at the Belgrade 1973 European Boxing Championships and he accomplished his goal following his success over Poland’s Olympic Games bronze medallist Janusz Gortat.
Soviet Union’s new surprise Viktor Ulyanich lost his fights in the National Championships but he was selected to attend at the Belgrade 1973 European Boxing Championships. The 24-year-old boxer bowed out a former champion Romania’s Ion Alexe in the semi-final and after that success, he was enough strong to beat West Germany’s 1971 silver medallist Peter Hussing in the final.
List of the winners in the 1973 European Boxing Championships
- Light flyweight (48kg): Vladislav Zasypko, Soviet Union
- Flyweight (51kg): Constantin Gruiescu, Romania
- Bantamweight (54kg): Aldo Cosentino, France
- Featherweight (57kg): Stefan Förster, East Germany
- Lightweight (60kg): Simion Cutov, Romania
- Light welterweight (63.5kg): Marijan Benes, Yugoslavia
- Welterweight (67kg): Sandor Csjef, Hungary
- Light middleweight (71kg): Anatoliy Klimanov, Soviet Union
- Middleweight (75kg): Vyacheslav Lemeshev, Soviet Union
- Light heavyweight (81kg): Mate Parlov, Yugoslavia
- Heavyweight (+81kg): Viktor Ulyanich, Soviet Union
In featured image: Mate Parlov