Mate Parlov (16 November 1948 – 29 July 2008) was a Croatian-Yugoslavian boxer and Olympic gold medalist who was European and World Champion as an amateur and as a professional.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Mate Parlov
Mate Parlov 1972.jpg
Parlov in 1972
Real nameMate Parlov
Weight(s)light heavyweight, cruiserweight
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Born(1948-11-16)16 November 1948
Split, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Died29 July 2008(2008-07-29) (aged 59)
Pula, Croatia
Boxing record
Total fights29
Wins by KO12
No contests0


Mate Parlov was born in Split, the youngest of four children in a Croatian family originally from Imotski. In 1958, the family moved to Pula.


In his amateur career he participated in 310 matches and lost 13.[8] He was eight-time champion of Yugoslavia in the light heavyweight category (1967–1974), five-time champion of the Balkans (1970–1974), two-time champion of Europe (1971 in Madrid, and 1973 in Belgrade), and world champion at the inaugural 1974 World Championships in Havana, Cuba. He won the Golden Glove award twice, in 1967 and 1969. He participated in the Munich 1972 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in the light heavyweight division.[9]

Professional careerEdit

Parlov won twelve of his first thirteen fights as a professional boxer before successfully challenging for the European light-heavyweight title. In 1976, he faced the future world champion Matthew Saad Muhammad. In their first fight in Milan, scheduled for eight rounds, he was defeated following the referee's decision. In a rematch, he and Muhammad struggled to a ten-round draw. After successfully defending the European title three times, he met Miguel Angel Cuello in Milan for the WBC world light-heavyweight title in January 1978. The two men had been scheduled to meet in the quarter-finals at the Munich Olympics, but Cuello withdrew due to an injury. Parlov knocked out Cuello in the ninth round to become the first professional world champion from a communist country. Parlov lost the title on his second defense and would later challenge for the world cruiser-weight title without success.[10]


In retirement, Parlov ran a coffee bar in Pula. He returned to boxing as coach of the Yugoslavian Olympic team prior to the 1984 Olympics,[9] when Yugoslav boxers achieved their best results ever: one gold, one silver and two bronzes. He later moved to Fažana near Pula, away from boxing and the public. In March 2008, he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and died four months later.

Private lifeEdit

Mate Parlov was married to Laura Parlov with whom he had two children, daughter Mira and son Matko. He was an economist by profession, and had one graduate exam left before gaining the title of Master of Economics.[11]

Statue of Mate Parlov in Fažana

Honors and awardsEdit

Amateur highlightsEdit

  • Record: 310–13
  • Eight-time champion of Yugoslavia
  • Five-time champion of the Balkans

  Silver at the 1969 European Championships: Bucharest, Romania (Middleweight):

Represented Yugoslavia at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico (Middleweight):

  Gold at the 1971 European Championships: Madrid, Spain (Light Heavyweight):

  Gold at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany (Light Heavyweight):

  Gold at the 1973 European Championships: Belgrade, Yugoslavia (Light Heavyweight):

  Gold at the 1974 World Championships, Havanna, Cuba (Light Heavyweight):

Professional boxing recordEdit

24 Wins (12 knockouts, 12 decisions), 3 Losses (1 knockout, 2 decisions), 2 Draws[10]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 24–3–2   Marvin Camel UD 15 31 March 1980   Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For inaugural WBC World Cruiserweight title.
Draw 24–2–2   Marvin Camel PTS 15 8 December 1979   Split, Yugoslavia For inaugural WBC World Cruiserweight title.
Win 24–2–1   Tony Mundine PTS 12 26 September 1979   Gorizia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy WBC World Cruiserweight title eliminator.
Win 23–2–1   Joe Maye KO 5 28 July 1979   Munich, Bavaria, West Germany
Loss 22–2–1   Marvin Johnson TKO 10 2 December 1978   Marsala, Sicily, Italy Lost WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win 22–1–1   John Conteh SD 15 17 June 1978   Belgrade, Yugoslavia Retained WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win 21–1–1   Tony Greene TKO 6 28 April 1978   Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Win 20–1–1   Miguel Angel Cuello KO 9 7 January 1978   Milan, Lombardy, Italy Won WBC World Light Heavyweight title.
Win 19–1–1   Leo Kakolewicz TKO 6 21 August 1977   Rijeka, Yugoslavia
Win 18–1–1   Harald Skog UD 15 9 July 1977   Basel, Switzerland Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win 17–1–1   Francois Fiol PTS 15 5 April 1977   Morges, Switzerland Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win 16–1–1   Christian Poncelet PTS 10 5 March 1977   Velenje, Yugoslavia
Draw 15–1–1   Matthew Saad Muhammad PTS 10 3 December 1976   Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Win 15–1   Aldo Traversaro PTS 15 15 October 1976   Milan, Lombardy, Italy Retained EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Win 14–1   Al Bolden KO 9 11 September 1976   Zagreb, Yugoslavia
Win 13–1   Domenico Adinolfi TKO 11 10 July 1976   Belgrade, Yugoslavia Won EBU Light Heavyweight title.
Loss 12–1   Matthew Saad Muhammad PTS 8 21 May 1976   Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Win 12–0   Maile Haumona PTS 10 20 March 1976   Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Win 11–0   Sentiki Qata PTS 10 6 March 1976   Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 10–0   Macka Foley TKO 2 6 February 1976   Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Win 9–0   Onelio Grando PTS 8 26 December 1975   Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Win 8–0   Billy Freeman PTS 10 22 November 1975   Skopje, Yugoslavia
Win 7–0   Karl Zurheide KO 1 30 October 1975   Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Win 6–0   Johnny Griffin TKO 5 6 October 1975   Zagreb, Yugoslavia
Win 5–0   Jose Evaristo Gomez PTS 8 13 September 1975   Pula, Yugoslavia
Win 4–0   Jose Galvez Vasquez PTS 8 22 August 1975   Split, Yugoslavia
Win 3–0   Horst Lang KO 1 12 July 1975   Arenzano, Liguria, Italy
Win 2–0   Robert Amory TKO 5 20 June 1975   Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Win 1–0   Dante Lazzari KO 1 31 May 1975   Opatija, Yugoslavia


  1. ^ Giuliano Lebanore. Parlov: Mislim da će sve proć' dobro.
  2. ^ IN MEMORIAM: MATE PARLOV / Odlazak boksača koji je volio pjesnike.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Mate Parlov se bori s teškom bolesti pluća – Vijesti. (31 March 2008). Retrieved on 2016-04-19.
  5. ^ Nina Tomljanović; Petra Horvat (30 July 2008). "Umro Mate Parlov" [Mate Parlov dies]. Nacional (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  6. ^ Umro Mate Parlov. (30 July 2008)
  7. ^ Home | Radio 101. Retrieved on 19 April 2016.
  8. ^ Mate Parlov. BoxRec. Retrieved on 19 April 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Mate Parlov.
  10. ^ a b Mate Parlov. BoxRec. Retrieved on 19 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Slobodna Dalmacija - Sugrađani legende: Mate je zadužio Istru, Hrvatsku i bivšu Jugoslaviju!". 30 July 2008.
  12. ^ (in Slovene) Umrl boksarski šampion Mate Parlov. RTV Slovenia (30 July 2008)
  13. ^ "Nagrada "Franjo Bučar" za životno djelo Milki Babović, Vladimiru Jankoviću i posmrtno Mati Parlovu" (in Croatian). Hrvatska Radiotelevizija. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2018.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
7 January 1978 – 2 December 1978
Succeeded by
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Miroslav Cerar
Marijan Beneš
Yugoslav Sportsman of the Year
1971, 1972
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sreten Damjanović
Marijan Beneš
  The Best Athlete of Yugoslavia
Succeeded by
Marijan Beneš
Nenad Stekić
Light heavyweight status
Preceded by Latest born world champion to die
July 29, 2008 – March 10, 2012
Succeeded by