Sweden’s Heavyweight Boxing Champ Ingemar Johansson

Former heavyweight champ Ingemar Johannson died in a Swedish nursing home in January 2009 at the age of 76. He’d lived in the nursing home in his hometown of Kungsbacka since the mid’90’s when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia. No official cause of death was given, but Johannson had suffered a serious bout with pneumonia just prior to his death.

Johannson rocketed to international fame and rock star like superstardom in Sweden by virtue of his 3rd round knockout victory over Floyd Patterson on June 26,’59 to become only the 5th heavyweight champion born outside of the US. Johannson was considered the underdog going into the matchup, and due to the perception that he wasn’t training particularly hard entered the bout a 5/1 underdog. Johansson was frequently seen in Catskill nightspots during his training camp with his attractive young secretary in stark contrast to Patterson’s disciplined regimen in preparation for his title defense.

Despite his devil may care approach to training, he shocked the boxing world on that night in Yankee Stadium. After a lackluster first two rounds, Johannson knocked Patterson to the canvas with a right hand early in the third. Patterson never recovered and was knocked down a total of seven times before the ref waved off the fight and awarded the victory to Johannson.

Johannson would hold the title for just under a year before he lost it back to Patterson in a rematch at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Patterson was the aggressor from the opening bell, and would eventually regain his title as he knocked Johannson out cold in the fifth round with a looping left hook. Johannson went down like he got shot, and took a ten count staring up at the lights with his leg twitching and blood dribbling out of his mouth. In the immediate aftermath of his victory, Patterson displayed the class of a champion as he was more concerned about Johanssons well being than celebrating his win. Patterson sat on the canvas with his fallen opponent cradling his head as medical personnel tended to Johannson. Floyd Patterson had just become the first man to regain the undisputed heavyweight championship, but his thoughts were with the man hed taken the title from.

Johannson would again face Patterson less than a year later, with the champ retaining his title via 6th round knockout after an exciting slugfest that saw both competitors taste the canvas. Eventually, however, Patterson’s superior conditioning prevailed and he earned the victory. Johannson would fight only four more times after that, all in his home country of Sweden, before retiring for good in’63.

Patterson and Johannson remained close lifelong friends and would travel to visit each other every year until the American champion died in 2006. While it is commonplace today for former in-ring adversaries to become close personal friends(eg: Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosely, Mickey Ward and Arturo Gatti), it was less common in the’60s. Johannson remained a big star in Sweden, occasionally appearing in movies and enjoyed good health well into his 60’s when old age began to take its toll.

Ingemar Johansson is considered one of Sweden’s greatest sports heroes, and was a crucial element in fueling the popularity of boxing in Europe and Scandinavia. He was married and divorced twice, and is survived by five children.

Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and highly respected authority on NFL football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.

Lesnar Wins UFC 100 Main Event

UFC 100 was a historic night for the sport of mixed martial arts, and Brock Lesnar used the occasion to avenge his previous loss to Frank Mir with a lopsided TKO victory. With the victory, Lesnar unified the promotion’s heavyweight championship. The Mir/Lesnar tilt was the main event on an epic card which culminated an insane week in Las Vegas.

UFC 100 drew unprecedented attention from not only the MMA media but the mainstream sports media as well. While outlets like ESPN have long treated MMA with disdain they were forced by the interest surrounding the event to give it prime coverage.

While the big metric of the events success will be its PPV buy rate”which will almost certainly shatter existing UFC records”the attendance numbers and other tangible measures that are already known underscore the significance of the event. Fridays weigh in was a standing room only affair with over 2,000 fans turned away. A Fan Expo held in conjunction with UFC 100 counted over 30,000 visitors on Friday and an equal or greater number on Saturday. Even veteran fight media experienced in covering big boxing and MMA events worldwide have reported that the energy and general vibe around this event is like nothing theyve seen.

The main event established Lesnar as not only the UFC heavyweight champion, but the most hated ‘bad guy’ in the sport To his credit, he had a perfect gameplan for Mir that allowed him to use his strength and power to maul his opponent on the ground while minimizing his exposure to submissions.

Mir, on the other hand, made a tactical mistake by letting Lesnar put him on his back and pound away. He clearly underestimated Lesnar’s ability to defend his submissions and by the end of the first round had already suffered a nasty beating.

Lesnar diminished his dominating performance with his postfight antics”he taunted Mir after the stoppage, prompting the crowd to boo him mercilessly. He followed this with a short and arrogant postfight interview that would have been much more at home in the WWE than in this setting. Mir was the consummate professional in defeat, giving credit to his opponent and generally displaying all of the class that Lesnar lacked.

Ross Everett is a freelance writer and respected authority on sports betting odds comparison. He writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.

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