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Opinion

10 Euro fighters

Lennox Lewis
Ten teams are left in football’s Euro 2020 tournament at the time of writing. Here, we pick out famous fighters from each remaining nation
  1. JEAN-PIERRE COOPMAN (BELGIUM)
    Although he would go on to claim the European crown the following year, Coopman is undoubtedly best known for his unsuccessful world heavyweight title challenge against “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali.
  2. NINO BENVENUTI (ITALY)
    Voted as the most impressive boxer at the 1960 Olympic Games, Benvenuti maintained his golden touch in the professionals, where he was crowned world champion at super-welterweight and middleweight (twice).
  3. MAURO MARTELLI (SWITZERLAND)
    After conquering the European scene, welterweight Martelli advanced to world level. He fought Simon Brown and Mark Breland for the IBF and WBA straps respectively, but was beaten on both occasions.
  4. JOSE LEGRA (SPAIN)
    A native of Cuba who moved out to Spain and became an adopted Spaniard, fine featherweight Legra twice reigned as the WBC king. He famously dethroned Howard Winstone to win the title for the first time.
  5. INGEMAR JOHANSSON (SWEDEN)
    Johansson’s defining night came when he sensationally stopped Floyd Patterson in three rounds to become the heavyweight champion of the world. Patterson was knocked down seven times in total.
  6. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO (UKRAINE)
    One of the most dominant heavyweight titlists in history, Klitschko followed up Olympic gold in 1996 with WBA, IBF and two WBO belts in the pros. He was untouchable from the mid-2000s to the mid-2010s.
  7. LENNOX LEWIS (ENGLAND)
    Representing Canada at the 1988 Olympics, Lewis secured a gold medal. Upon turning pro, he returned to his country of birth, England, and won three WBC, two IBF and one WBA title. He is recognised as the last heavyweight to hold undisputed status.
  8. MAX SCHMELING (GERMANY)
    Former world heavyweight champion Schmeling engaged in two colossal clashes with Joe Louis in the second half of the 1930s, with the two men winning one fight apiece. The bouts transcended the sport and were worldwide cultural events.
  9. LUKAS KONECNY (CZECH REPUBLIC)
    Konecny got his hands on the European super-welterweight belt but twice failed in attempts to earn WBO honours at the weight. He also unsuccessfully challenged for the WBO middleweight strap.
  10. MIKKEL KESSLER (DENMARK)
    A firm fan favourite, “Viking Warrior” Kessler collected two WBC titles and two WBA belts in the super-middleweight division.

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