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Former European Boxing Champ Dies

June 26, 2002

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VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Josef Weidinger, a former European boxing champion who won 31 of 46 professional fights, died Wednesday after a long unspecified illness, the Austria Press Agency reported. He was 79.

Weidinger, known by his nickname Joschi, won a 15-round decision over Stephan Olek for the European heavyweight crown in 1950.

He started his professional career in 1945. Three years later, his fine record prompted ex-champion Jack Dempsey to bring Weidinger to the United States, where he won four of eight fights.

The Austrian returned to Vienna in late 1949.

Weidinger, who lost his European championship title to Britain’s John Gardner in 1951, was forced to stop his career in November of that year because of a serious eye injury.

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