Born in České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia, he competed in the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia, going out in the quarter finals of the heavyweight event. He returned to the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy, again as a heavyweight boxer where he went one better, going out in the semi final to finish in third place. In Moscow 1963 he became European champion.
- "Zemřel boxer Josef Němec, bronzový olympionik z Říma 1960". Lidové noviny (in Czech). lidovky.cz. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
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