Sweden, England, Denmark and France won the first titles in the history of the European Boxing Championships in 1925

09 May 2020 News

Dear Friends of European Boxing,

 Tibor Kincses, the best sport journalist on International and Olympic boxing, begins an interesting historical and cultural journey that concerns the European Championships from the first edition of 1925 in Stockholm to the last edition of Minsk 2019.

Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former boxer, said that “celebrate the memories is the pillar of our identity”. 

Therefore, we are grateful to Tibor for this commendable initiative that will bring to our attention unforgettable images of great Champions who have left an indelible mark on the history of boxing and sport in general.

We will be able to relive moments of sports history that placed boxing among the most popular sports in many countries of Europe. In some countries boxing with its extraordinary protagonists competed for the popularity ranking with football and cycling.

We will also be able to evaluate the political aspect of our sport when the Eastern countries prevented the practice of professionalism and forced great talents to always fight in shirts. This illiberal political choice produced a serious consequence which for many years gave a total supremacy of the Eastern countries and especially of the USSR in the continental competitions and in the Olympic Games. It was also for this reason that in many European countries the practice of boxing no longer attracted the attention of national sports institutions. 

For some decades professional boxing has also been readmitted in Eastern countries and, therefore, the level of competitions became more balanced.

We will follow with interest the story of the various editions of the Championships and I am sure that Tibor will make us relive emotions that not only the oldest, like me, but also the youngest fans of our sport will be able to savor and share.

 Franco Falcinelli

Sweden, England, Denmark and France won the first titles in the history of the European Boxing Championships in 1925

The first boxing tournament in the history of the Olympic Games was held in St. Louis in 1904 while the historical European Boxing Championships took place in Stockholm, Sweden in 1925. Eight champions have been crowned from the flyweight up to the heavyweight in the first official edition of the European Boxing Championships.

The 1924 edition of the Olympic Games was held in France’s capital in Paris which was the first unofficial European Boxing Championships. The best boxers from our continent awarded and recognized as European champions at the Paris 1924 Olympic Games but the first official European Boxing Championships was held in Stockholm, Sweden from May 11 to 15 in 1925.

The number of the boxers was 46 in the first official European Boxing Championships in the Swedish capital. The following 11 nations attended in the first edition of the European Boxing Championships in Stockholm: Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales. All of the countries could send one boxer in each weight class to the first European Boxing Championships.

Sweden claimed three gold medals on home soil, while England, Denmark and France were the further nations which won at least one title. Germany, Netherlands and Norway were also on the medal rankings of the 1925 European Boxing Championships. Sweden and Germany were the nations which attended with maximum number of eight boxers in Stockholm. One bronze medal was awarded in each weight class following the Box-off for the third place.

Émile Pladner

Emile Pladner was only 19 by the time of the 1925 European Boxing Championships but he became the first winner of the flyweight. The French teenager defeated Sweden’s Harry Jansson, Germany’s Karl Schulze and England’s William James during his road to the gold medal. Following his European title, Pladner turned to professional won more than 100 fights until his retirement in 1936.

Germany’s Franz Dübbers claimed his first national title in 1924 at the age of 16 and arrived to Stockholm as one of the favourites of the bantamweight. The German boxer was confident in the quarter-finals and semi-finals but he suffered a loss to England’s Archie Rule in the second final of the 1925 European Boxing Championships.

Sweden’s first gold medal was achieved by Oscar Andren who competed at the Paris 1924 Olympic Games. The 26-year-old boxer, who trained in Stockholm, lost his Box-off in Paris one year earlier and finished as fourth in the Olympics. The two-time Swedish National Champion impressed in the final against Germany’s Jacob Domgörgen at the featherweight.

Selfrid Johansson was one of the youngest winners at the 1925 European Boxing Championships. The local youngster was only 18 by the time of the continental event but he was too strong for England’s Signaller Viney in the final of the lightweight. Later the Swedish boxer attended at the Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games where he lost to eventual winner Ted Morgan who is New Zealand’s lone champion in boxing.

Denmark’s Harald Laderstoff Nielsen attended at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris which experiences pad off in the Stockholm event. The Copenhagen-based boxer defeated Sweden’s Helge Ahlberg in the final of the welterweight. His teammate, Olympic Games silver medallist and seven-times National Champion Thyge Petersen also defeated his Swedish opponent Nils Ramm in the final and bagged Denmark’s second gold in 1925.

List of the winners in the 1925 European Boxing Championships

  • Flyweight (50.8kg): Emile Pladner, France
  • Bantamweight (53.5kg): Archie Rule, England
  • Featherweight (57.2kg): Oscar Andren, Sweden
  • Lightweight (61.2kg): Selfrid Johansson, Sweden
  • Welterweight (66.7kg): Harald Laderstoff Nielsen, Denmark
  • Middleweight (72.6kg): Frank Crawley, England
  • Light heavyweight (79.4kg): Thyge Petersen, Denmark
  • Heavyweight (+79.4kg): Bror Persson, Sweden
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