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Luan Krasniqi (born 10 May 1971) is an Albanian-German actor[1] and retired[2] professional boxer. He held the European heavyweight title and also challenged for the WBO world heavyweight title.

Luan Krasniqi
Nickname(s)Lion (Luan in Albanian)
Height1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Reach193 cm (76 in)
NationalityAlbania Albanian Germany German
Born (1971-05-10) 10 May 1971 (age 48)
Junik, Kosovo[b]
Boxing record
Total fights35
Wins by KO14



Krasniqi is the youngest of eight children to Kosovar Albanian parents. He has often said that he had a happy and active childhood, growing up in Junik, a small town in the District of Gjakova, where in 1987 he finished his primary and secondary school, before his family moved to Rottweil in Germany. Krasniqi stated "my childhood was good, but when I learned that we would be rejoining my father who had moved to Rottweil in 1970 I was overjoyed. I had dreamt about a move to the city and now it was coming true!".

Krasniqi graduated in Germany his A-Level and an education as a wholesaler.


Krasniqi started boxing at the age of 16.[3] His boxing-career began at the local BSV Rottweil, where he met Theo Kerekesch, a boxing trainer of high regard.

Spotting talent and kinship within each other, hard work developed Krasniqi into a solid, well schooled, heavyweight. Once Krasniqi had been granted German citizenship, he entered the Multi-Nations Tournament in Liverpool, England and won the gold medal. He consolidated the success with a gold medal later that year at the German Championships, Berlin.

Krasniqi stormed the 1995 World Amateur Boxing Championships, by taking the silver medal beating Sinan Samil Sam and Wladimir Klitschko – losing only to the one of the best amateur boxers of all times, the Cuban great Félix Savón. Krasniqi ended the year on a roll, taking the Heavyweight Gold in the International Chemie Cup Tournament, Halle.

1996 he added the European Championships with a win over Christophe Mendy.

1996 Summer OlympicsEdit

At the Olympic Games in Atlanta he beat future amateur and professional champion Ruslan Chagaev and reached a semi-final bout with Félix Savón. The semi-final bout against Félix Savón was short-lived. During the bout, Krasniqi was cut under the eye. The cut would be examined by the ringside doctor & result in a medical stoppage.[4] This left him unable to fight for an Olympic Gold Medal.

Krasniqi returned to Germany with the Bronze medal, Germany's first heavyweight medal since 1976. "I felt that I could have beaten him. He had out-pointed me the previous year but I had grown stronger and developed further since then. I am sure that the fight would have been close but I think that this time, I would have celebrated." However, Krasniqi had many memories to savour from Atlanta - one of which was a meeting with his idol, Muhammad Ali. "Muhammad Ali was and still is an idol. Nobody can ever achieve what he achieved. Such a thing is a once in a lifetime phenomenon."

"To shine so long and so brightly, to define eras in history with the sheer force of his ability and personality and to be so well remembered is unique. Meeting him was an honour I shall never forget." Krasniqi took his first steps to his own fame as he decided to become famous and to get in at Panix Promotions, where Lennox Lewis has his contract.

1996 Olympic Results Boxed as a Heavyweight (– 91 kg)

  • Round 1 - Defeated Ruslan Chagaev (Uzbekistan) 12:4
  • Round of 16 - Defeated Igor Kshinin (Russia) 10:2
  • Quarterfinals - Defeated Serguei Dychkov (Belarus) 10:5
  • Semifinals - Lost by Félix Savón (Cuba) WO

Professional careerEdit

Krasniqi won his first fight (with Harry Senior. In order to improve his training he was invited to train with Lennox Lewis in Big Bear Lake, where he was in preparation for the fight against Andrzej Gołota. Luan showed that he could resist the pressure of sparring with Lewis. Since then, he has been to Big Bear Lake three times.

During Lewis' training for the fights against Shannon Briggs, Željko Mavrović and Evander Holyfield he was one of his sparring partners. Luan overcame with success the first hurdles of his career as a "newcomer" in professional boxing. He boxed extremely successfully for Panix Promotion 15 times and in 2000 after Lennox Lewis had terminated his contract, Luan decided to look for a new alternative. In February and April 2000 he built his connections with Universum Box-Promotion and fought a number of matches for them. In January 2001 he signed a three years long contract with Universum Box-Promotion.

The highlight of his career was the fight against Rene Monse, when he became European Champion. He was the first German European Champion after 29 years.


A half year later Krasniqi lost his belt in a fight against Przemysław Saleta. The man from Rottweil was prepared for eight rounds. But after an injury of Vitali Klitschko, his fight was pushed to the main event. Mainly due to this lack of preparation, although leading by points, Krasniqi apparently feared a loss and elected to quit.

After this defeat Krasniqi struggled to get back to the top of the European rankings. Finally on 14 February 2004 he won against the "Bull from Bosphorus" Sinan Samil Sam and became European Champion once again.

Later careerEdit

2005 brought Krasniqi to the top of the heavyweight competition after he knocked out highly regarded Lance Whitaker and became a mandatory challenger for the WBO crown. He lost against Lamon Brewster. Brewster managed to efficiently attack Krasniqi's body. This resulted in Krasniqi fatiguing in the latter rounds and finally being forced into a punch-exchange and getting knocked down in round 9.

It was a disappointing loss to a lot of German and Albanian fans, since the resurrection of a new German heavyweight champion was highly anticipated to occur on Max Schmeling's 100th birthday.

Luan's next fight took place on 29 April 2006 in Stuttgart, Germany where he won against David Bostice.

Luan Krasniqi was scheduled to fight against Top 10 contender, Tony Thompson, in September 2006, but no contract was made. Krasniqi has stated that the money offered by his promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl was insufficient.

On 17 March 2007, Krasniqi fought Brian Minto for the title of WBO Intercontinental Champion. Despite having a height disadvantage of 4 inches (10 cm), Minto was able to hold his own against Krasniqi. However, in the 12th round Krasniqi was able to knock Minto down and win the match. It was later stated that it was Krasniqi's tactic to tire his adversary. This won Luan Krasniqi the title of Intercontinental Champion and has given him the possibility of a fight against Shannon Briggs.

Kransiqi lost to Tony Thompson, putting a serious dent in his hopes at a future title shot. On 11 November 2008, he lost by a third-round knockout to unbeaten Alexander Dimitrenko.

Personal lifeEdit

Luan Krasniqi speaks eight languages fluently.[5] He is currently an actor.[6] Prior to his boxing success, Krasniqi worked in wholesale and foreign trade.[7] Luan Krasniqi's two boxing idols are Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis.


German Heavyweight Champion 2001-2002 EBU Heavyweight Champion 2002, 2004–2005 WBO Interconti Champion 2007.

Professional boxing recordEdit

30 Wins (14 knockouts, 16 decisions), 4 Losses (4 knockouts, 0 decisions), 1 Draw[8]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 30-4-1   Alexander Dimitrenko KO 3 15/11/2008   Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title. Krasniqi was knocked out at 2:54 of the third round.
Loss 30-3-1   Tony "The Tiger" Thompson TKO 5 14/07/2007   Altona, Hamburg, Germany WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title

World Heavyweight Title Eliminator. Referee stopped the bout at 2:39 of the fifth round.

Win 30-2-1   Brian "The Beast" Minto UD 12 17/03/2007   Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title. 115-112, 116-111, 116-111.
Win 29-2-1   David "The Boss" Bostice UD 10 29/04/2006   Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany 99-91, 99-92, 99-93.
Loss 28-2-1   "Relentless" Lamon Brewster TKO 9 28/09/2005   Altona, Hamburg, Germany WBO World Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:48 of the ninth round.
Win 28-1-1   Lance "Mount" Whitaker KO 6 28/05/2005   Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany WBO World Heavyweight Title Eliminator. Whitaker knocked out at 2:06 of the sixth round.
Draw 27-1-1   Timo "Deutsche Eiche" Hoffmann PTS 12 04/12/2004   Neukoeln, Berlin, Germany EBU Heavyweight Title. 114-114, 114-114, 113-115.
Win 27-1   Rene Monse TKO 7 31/07/2004   Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany EBU Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:01 of the seventh round when Monse's corner threw in the towel.
Win 26-1   Sinan Samil "The Bosporous Bull" Sam UD 12 14/02/2004   Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany EBU Heavyweight Title. 115-113, 116-113, 114-114.
Win 25-1   Julius Francis UD 8 18/10/2003   Altona, Hamburg, Germany
Win 24-1   Doug Liggion UD 8 30/08/2003   Munich, Bayern, Germany
Win 23-1   Przemysław Saleta TKO 1 26/04/2003   Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany Referee stopped the bout at 2:53 of the first round after Saleta was knocked down thrice.
Win 22-1   Sedreck "Big Buck" Fields UD 8 08/02/2003   Neukoeln, Berlin, Germany 80-72, 80-74, 79-75.
Win 21-1   Thomas Williams KO 1 23/11/2002   Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Loss 20-1   Przemysław Saleta TKO 9 20/07/2002   Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany EBU Heavyweight Title. Krasniqi did not leave his corner for the ninth round.
Win 20-0   Rene Monse MD 12 05/01/2002   Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany EBU Heavyweight Title. 115-112, 115-113, 114-114.
Win 19-0   Yuriy Yelistratov TKO 3 29/09/2001   Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany
Win 18-0   Rene Hanl TKO 2 21/07/2001   Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany Germany BDB Heavyweight Title.
Win 17-0   Paul Phillips KO 1 07/04/2001   Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany
Win 16-0   Cleveland Woods KO 3 24/02/2001   Alsterdorf, Hamburg, Germany
Win 15-0   Rodney McSwain TKO 4 27/05/2000   Southwark, London, United Kingdom
Win 14-0   Antoine Palatis PTS 6 01/04/2000   Neukoeln, Berlin, Germany
Win 13-0   Everett Martin PTS 8 19/02/2000   Neukoeln, Berlin, Germany
Win 12-0   Michael Murray PTS 8 18/12/1999   Southwark, London, United Kingdom
Win 11-0   Alexey Osokin TKO 3 16/10/1999   Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Win 10-0   Biko Botowamungu DQ 5 21/08/1999   Dresden, Sachsen, Germany
Win 9-0   Ladislav Husarik PTS 6 27/03/1999   Dresden, Sachsen, Germany
Win 8-0   Shane Woollas TKO 3 26/09/1998   York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Win 7-0   Abdelrani Berbachi PTS 6 02/05/1998   Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 6-0   Spas Spasov PTS 6 28/03/1998   Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Win 5-0   Stefan Trendafilov TKO 1 14/02/1998   Southwark, London, United Kingdom
Win 4-0   Phillipe Houyvet TKO 4 16/12/1997   Nord, France
Win 3-0   Lewan Livingstone UD 4 02/11/1997   Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Win 2-0   Kevin Hudson TKO 4 04/10/1997   Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:37 of the fourth round.
Win 1-0   Harry Senior PTS 4 02/09/1997   Southwark, London, United Kingdom


a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by 112 out of 193 United Nations member states, while 10 states have recognized Kosovo only to later withdraw their recognition.


  1. ^ "Luan Krasniqi". Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
  2. ^ "Krasniqi Announces Retirement". Seconds Out Boxing News.
  3. ^ "Round 13 - Interview: Luan Krasniqi, Cisse Salif and Raphael Zumbano".
  4. ^ "Round 13 - Interview: Luan Krasniqi, Cisse Salif and Raphael Zumbano".
  5. ^ [1] Archived January 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Luan Krasniqi". Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
  7. ^ "Eins zu Eins. Der Talk Gast: Luan Krasniqi". (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. January 10, 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  8. ^ "BoxRec - Luan Krasniqi".

External linksEdit