Brian Nielsen (boxer)
|Real name||Brian Nielsen|
|Nickname(s)||Super Brian, Bokse Brian, Boksebamsen (The Boxing Teddybear)|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Reach||196 cm (77 in)|
April 1, 1965 |
|Wins by KO||43|
Brian Nielsen (born April 1, 1965 in Korsør) is a retired Danish professional boxer. He is the former IBO and IBC Heavyweight Champion. Nielsen fought then-current World Boxing Foundation (WBF) heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield on 7 May 2011 and lost via 10th round TKO.
||This section is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (July 2013)|
During his amateur career, Nielsen had 104 victories with only 7 losses. He won bronze medals in the super heavyweight division at the 1991 European Championships and the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona where he gained local popularity by goofing around during the bout.
Brian Nielsen became good friends with some of Korsor ABK's best boxers, Mark Hulstrøm and Kenneth Franklin, and it was friendships that inspired Brian Nielsen. He would also box real bouts. It was not a thought that his trainer, Johnny Antonsen, was thrilled with. For a long time he simply refused to let Brian Nielsen box real bouts because he thought it would be bad publicity for his club. But Brian Nielsen really wanted to box a real bout, And his biggest dream was to become Champion of Zealand.
After persistent pressure from Brian, Johnny Antonsen finally relented. However, he did not want Brian Nielsen to box on home ground, because the local spectators in Korsor should not be exposed to such a bad boxer. Instead, Brian Nielsen was sent to Svendborg, where Johnny Antonsen had arranged a match against the local hero Carsten Dahl. Brian Nielsen had all odds against him. He was still severely overweight, and had zero technical qualities. Trainer Johnny Antonsen did not even want to follow his boxer to Svendborg, because he was afraid of being laughed at. Instead, Brian Nielsen was seconded by his good friend and fellow boxer, Kenneth Franklin.
The fear turned out to be unfounded. Brian Nielsen easily beat Carsten Dahl, winning the bout by knockout in the second round. Carsten Dahl later got the opportunity for revenge, but again Brian Nielsen won by knockout.
It was a sign of things to come for Brian Nielsen. Although it didn't always look pretty, he won the vast majority of his matches. He was both Zealand champion and Danish champion for five consecutive years (1988-1992), and also won numerous international tournaments. His career as an amateur ending after the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 where he won the bronze. In the semifinals he lost to the powerful Cuban Roberto Balado (Balado died in a car accident in 1994). The match was particularly entertaining since Balado made mockory of Nielsens sluggish approach by dancing and moving his feat rapidly. Nielsen responded by jiggling his hips. Ballado won 15 to 1.
In total, Brian Nielsen boxed 111 fights as an amateur and won 104. Only once in amateur career was Brian Nielsen counted, and only once was he stopped before time - during a European Championship bout, where he was stopped by the doctor due to a cut near one of his eyes.
Nielsen's pro career looked obscure at first, and his first professional match is remembered in Denmark for the very negative description Nielsen was given by commentator Knud Esmann. However, after his win over 41 year old ex-World Boxing Association champion James 'Bonecrusher' Smith in October 1994, Nielsen started to get noticed.
On 13 October 2001, Nielsen fought Mike Tyson at the Parken Stadium in Denmark. After six rounds heavily in Tyson's favour, Nielsen quit on his stool citing an eye injury. Nielsen was knocked down once in the third round.
On February 8, 2010, Brian Nielsen told reporters that he was prepared to return to the ring, after 8 years of absence, and that a proposed fight against Evander Holyfield had been met with interest by both sides. Though originally thought unrealistic by former promoter Mogens Palle, due to Nielsen's bad knee, Nielsen's comeback was confirmed by Nielsen's promoter Sauerland Event on June 1, 2010.
Nielsen met Holyfield on May 7, 2011 in a WBF title bout, in Copenhagen. Holyfield won the fight, knocking Nielsen down in the 3rd with a left hook and stopping him by TKO in the 10th. Nielsen afterwards said that he did not understand the decision to stop him, although he was in the corner receiving a lot of blows. He added that he wanted a re-match with Holyfield.
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (October 2013)|
At a press conference prior to the Mike Tyson fight, Nielsen called Tyson an "abekat" which was erroneously translated as "monkey". The Tyson camp took great offense at this supposed racist slur, and Tyson himself declared, "This will make me punish him even more than I had planned." The controversy over the remark calmed down when the expression was clarified to the media by Danish linguists as having no racial connotations and simply meaning "brat" in Danish.
Controversy arose in early 2004, when journeyman heavyweight Thomas Williams stated that he had been bribed to throw his fight against Nielsen in March, 2000. Along with promoter Robert Mitchell, Williams was indicted by the United States District Court for the District of Nevada for match fixing in order to promote the career of white heavyweight hope Richie Melito, and it was during the FBI's investigation of that case that Williams admitted to intentionally losing to Nielsen. The fix was arranged by promoter Robert Mittleman, a frequent associate of Nielsen's promoter Mogens Palle, who later confessed that he had been paid $1,000, while Williams had received "up to $40,000" from Palle in order to lose the fight. Williams, Mitchell and Mittleman were all found guilty of sports bribery by the court in November and December, 2004.
The Nielsen vs. Williams fight was the 57th of Nielsen's career and was one of the fights leading to his meeting with Tyson. Both Nielsen and Mogens Palle denied any knowledge of match fixing in media statements, and the findings of the American case did not lead to criminal proceedings in Denmark, and Nielsen was not accused of any wrongdoing.
Professional boxing record
- "Super-Brian på vej til comeback". Jyllands-Posten. 2010-02-09.
- "Holyfield: Det lyder som en "great fight"". Jyllands-Posten. 2010-02-09.
- "Palle: Comeback helt ude i hampen". Jyllands-Posten. 2010-02-09.
- "Tyson angered by alleged remark by Nielsen". ESPN. 2001-10-12. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- James Lawton (2001-10-13). "Boxing: Trapped Tyson must satisfy the paymasters" (Reprint). The Independent. Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "FIGHTER, BOXING PROMOTER CONVICTED OF SPORTS BRIBERY". U.S. Department of Justice. 2004-11-04. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "BOXING PROMOTER SENTENCED FOR FIXING FIGHTS". U.S. Department of Justice. 2004-11-04. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "Brian Nielsen - Boxer". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
Tony La Rosa
|IBO Heavyweight Champion
12 January 1996 – September 1999
Title last held byMichael Grant
|IBC Heavyweight Champion
14 January 2000 – 13 October 2001