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|
||This section is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay that states the Wikipedia editor's particular feelings about a topic, rather than the opinions of experts. (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 bouts.
Nielsen became good friends with some of Korsor ABK's best boxers, Mark Hulstrøm and Kenneth Franklin, and it was friendships that brought Nielsen to boxing. His trainer, Johnny Antonsen, was originally opposed to Nielsen's wish to actually fight. For a long time he simply refused to let Brian Nielsen box real bouts because he thought Nielsen's presumed low ability would be bad publicity for his club.
After persistent pressure from Nielsen, 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. The severely overweight and technically weak Nielsen was a clear underdog. Antonsen did not even want to follow his boxer to Svendborg, because he was afraid of being laughed at. Instead, Nielsen was seconded by his good friend and fellow boxer, Kenneth Franklin.
The fear turned out to be unfounded. Nielsen easily beat Dahl, winning the bout by knockout in the second round. Dahl later got the opportunity for revenge, but again Nielsen won by knockout.
Nielsen's later fights followed the same pattern: He did not look good boxing, but 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 ended after the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 where he won the bronze. In the semifinals he lost to the powerful Cuban Roberto Balado. The match was notable for Balado mocking Nielsen's sluggish approach by dancing and moving his feat rapidly. Nielsen responded by jiggling his hips. Ballado won 15 to 1.
In total, Nielsen boxed 111 fights as an amateur and won 104. He only took a count once in amateur career, and only once was he stopped before time - during a European Championship bout, where he suffered a cut near one of his eyes.
Nielsen's pro career looked unpromising 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 began to attract attention. He went to on to hold the minor IBO belt during an unbeaten streak equalling that of legend Rocky Marciano (but holding a title and fighting opponents of far lesser recognition). He later held the minor IBC belt.
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.
Announced comeback and Holyfield fight
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 racial 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