Marcel Thil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marcel Thil
Marcel Thil 1934.jpg
Real name Marcel Thil
Rated at Middleweight
Nationality France French
Born 25 May 1904
Saint-Dizier, France
Died 14 August 1968(1968-08-14) (aged 64)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 148
Wins 113
Wins by KO 54
Losses 22
Draws 13
No contests 0

Marcel Thil (25 May 1904 - 14 August 1968) was a French boxer and middleweight world champion. Statistical boxing website BoxRec rates Thil as the best French boxer ever across all weight divisions.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Saint-Dizier, Haute-Marne in the Champagne-Ardenne Region of France, Thil started boxing at a very young age and turned professional at the age of 16. For a number of years he was a journeyman boxer but as he matured to full adult strength, with training he developed power in both hands that saw him begin to win regularly by knockout (K.O.).


In 1928, Thil won the French middleweight boxing championship and the following year captured the European title. After losing his European championship he came back to capture the International Boxing Union (IBU) world middleweight championship through a controversial 11th round disqualification in a June 11, 1932 fight held in Paris, France against Gorilla Jones. He became a major celebrity and as a good friend of celebrated actor Jean Gabin, he was the toast of Paris during the next four and a half years when he successfully defended his middleweight title 11 times. In addition, Thil moved up a weight class to win the European light-heavyweight title.

On September 23, 1937 in New York City, Thil ultimately lost the world middleweight title to Fred Apostoli when the fight had to be stopped after he suffered a severe gash over one eye. At this point in his career and at 33 years of age, Thil chose to retire.

Later life and death[edit]

Thil remained active in boxing circles as an advisor and cornerman and was named honorary president of the Dieppe Boxing Club. He made a living with a company in Reims until eventually retiring to a home in Cannes on the French Riviera where in on August 14, 1968 he died after being seriously injured in an automobile accident at age 64. He is buried there in the Grand Jas Cemetery.


Marcel Thil was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame at Canastota, New York in the United States. In France, a street was named in his honor in his birthplace of Saint-Dizier and in the city of Reims, both a street and a sports stadium carry his name.


  1. ^ All-Time Pound-for-Pound Rankings (France). Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gorilla Jones
NBA World Middleweight Champion
11 June 1932 – 1932
Title next held by
Vince Dundee
Inaugural Champion IBU World Middleweight Champion
11 June 1932 – 23 September 1937
Succeeded by
Fred Apostoli
The Ring Middleweight Champion
1933 – 23 September 1937
Title next held by
Freddie Steele