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Max Schmeling dies at age 99

  |   Feb. 4, 2005 at 8:08 AM
HOLLENSTEDT, Germany, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Former world boxing heavyweight champion Max Schmeling, whose two U.S. fights with Joe Louis electrified the world, has died at his home in Germany. He was 99.

No cause of his death Wednesday was released.

Schmeling's 1936 knockout win in a non-title fight against previously undefeated Joe Louis, an African-American, was trumpeted by the Nazis as proof of the Teutonic race's athletic superiority, Sporting Life said Friday.

Two years later, when Louis had become world champion, Schmeling went down in a one-round knockout that effectively ended his career as a title contender.

In later years, Schmeling often returned to the United States and became friends with Louis, whose medical expenses he helped pay, as well as other sports figures.

Schmeling, who completed his professional career with 61 victories in 71 bouts, was elected to boxing's Hall of Fame in 1970. He lost five decisions and was knocked out five times.

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