A tribute: Mogens Palle, 1934-2022

Tribute to a promoter who ended up in the Hall of Fame

PROMOTER and matchmaker Mogens Palle of Copenhagen, Denmark, died on Saturday morning (August 27) after battling cancer for several years.

Palle – inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008 – held his final boxing event on April 21, 2022 in Copenhagen. “After almost 65 years as a promoter, I’m quitting,” he said at the time. “I am very proud of what I have accomplished. I really hope that this event will also be a great event. It started with a hit in 1957, and I would love for it to end there too. At least from a sporting point of view.

“I’m not afraid of dying. I had a great life and worked with the sport that I love. I look at it that way. Dying is like falling asleep, it’s just that you don’t wake up anymore.

For more than 50 years, Palle has been credited with keeping boxing alive in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The former amateur boxer began his career as a boxing promoter at the age of 23 in 1957 with his father Thorkild, master carpenter, and former European lightweight champion, Jorgen Johansen.

Based in a very small market and a country of less than 6 million people, it has produced an impressive number of European champions (27) plus eight sanctioned belt holders including Mikkel Kessler, Ayub Kalule and Johnny Bredahl .

Christian Christensen and Bo Högberg from Sweden became his first European champions in 1964 and 1966. He built Borge Krogh and Tom Bogs from scratch and the two guys became very popular fixtures and started the age of Danish boxing gold by winning the European lightweight laurels. , medium and light heavyweight. In the mid-1960s, Palle was the European manager of former world heavyweight champion Sonny Liston and co-promoted four of his fights in Sweden. Liston was supposed to fight outside of Denmark, but Danish authorities refused to grant him a work permit due to his criminal past, forcing the events to be moved to the neighboring country.

Ayub Kalule was Palle’s first major belt holder when he handily defeated reigning WBA 154-pound titlist Masashi Kudo in 1979.

The 1972 world title match between Carlos Monzon and Tom Bogs at the National Football Stadium in Copenhagen was one of the biggest sporting events in Denmark. In 2001, Palle brought Mike Tyson to the same outdoor arena, where he stopped Brian Nielsen in Denmark’s biggest boxing event with a 14-fight fight card. He was also co-promoter for the Joe Calzaghe vs. Mikkel Kessler fight in Cardiff which attracted 50,000 fans and had a global audience in 70 countries.

Palle’s favorite memory as a promoter was the Dave Boy Green vs. Jorgen Hansen fight in 1979. Green, who was lined up for a world title fight, had to defend his European welterweight title and was the overwhelming favorite against the 36 years experienced. -Old Danes in Randers, Denmark.

Hansen was floored in the third round but, looking for a quick finish, Green was injured and stopped in the third.

Reg Gutteridge, covering the fight at ringside for ITV, shouted: “It’s all over, Dave Green has lost the European Championship to 36-year-old Jorgen Hansen in one of the biggest upsets I’ve ever had. known in boxing in 40 years. . Incredible!”

Palle was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota in 2008. Mogens Palles’ wife Lis Palle died in 2020. He is survived by his daughter Bettina Palle and grandson Christian Palle. Bettina said upon learning of her father’s death: “The toughest man I know has died! Despite his fragile health at the end, he fought on – strong-willed, acerbic and stubborn – until the final bell. He was inventive, creative and courageous as little! He was unique. My father! I love you forever.”