On January the seventh, Mate Parlov made boxing history. In the northern Italian city of?
On January the seventh, Mate Parlov made boxing history. In the northern Italian city of Milan the tall Yugoslav became the first fighter from his country to win a world professional title, by knocking out the rugged Argentinian Miguel Cuello in nine rounds.
For the new world champion, home is a new, comparatively small house in the village of Fazana near Pula in Croatia. Not surprisingly Parlov is the idol of the local children and his boxing posters are a big attraction.
Parlov belongs to that exclusive band, who have won world titles in both amateur and professional boxing. He is 188 centimetres tall, he is a southpaw and he has been one of Europe's most outstanding boxers for nearly a decade. Parlov was a great amateur. He was Olympic light-heavyweight gold medallist in Munich in 1972, and won both World and European amateur crowns.
The champion's pet monkey is there is keep an eye on things when he works out at home, and never far away is his two-year-old daughter Mira. Parlov did not turn professional until 1975, when he was 27, and his home is full of trophies from his amateur days.
Away from the ring, the champion is very much the family man. But once a fight has been arranged he is the dedicated professional. This is how he has managed to stay at the top for so long. Against Miguel Cuello he started the under-dog, but he always had the fight under control.
Parlov and his manager, Boris Kramarsic, now have to decided whom the champion fights next. The World Boxing Council, whose version of the title Parlov holds, are hoping he will meet Britain's John Conteh in May, but the purse Conteh is said to be asking is reported to be delaying things.