Norway has long been known for its world-class boxing talent. From the earliest days of the sport in the country, Norwegian boxers have been at the top of the international scene.
From current champions like Cecilia Brækhus to former world champions like Magne Havnaa, Norway has produced some of the greatest boxers in the world.
We’ll take a look at some of the best boxing players in Norway and the reasons why they have become such legendary figures in the sport.
1. Cecilia Brækhus
Cecilia Carmen Linda Brækhus is an incredible athlete who has truly made history in the world of sports. She is a Norwegian professional boxer and former kickboxer and is the first woman in history to hold all four major world titles in boxing simultaneously.
From 2014 to 2020, she reigned as the undisputed female welterweight champion, earning the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles. As a result, she is the only female boxer to hold all four belts at the same time, making her a true trailblazer in the world of boxing.
Her impressive achievements have earned her the respect and admiration of many, and she is an incredible role model for aspiring female athletes everywhere.
2. Olav Nielsen
Olav Nielsen was a Norwegian amateur boxer who had a great passion for the sport. He was born and lived in Oslo and represented the sports club SK av 1909. He was given the opportunity to compete in the 1928 Summer Olympics in the flyweight division.
Olav Nielsen performed exceptionally well during the Olympic Games and tied for ninth place overall in the boxing competition. This was a great achievement for a Norwegian amateur boxer, and it showed his talent and dedication to the sport.
Olav Nielsen’s achievement serves as an inspiration to all amateur boxers who strive to compete at the highest level.
3. Ole Klemetsen
Ole Klemetsen, nicknamed “Lukkøye” and “Mister Sandman”, is a retired Norwegian boxer who competed in the Light Heavyweight division. He was born in Norway and was a successful boxer, becoming known as the “Golden Viking” due to his impressive record and skill in the ring.
Klemetsen was a well-respected fighter, both in Norway and abroad, and earned a reputation for being a formidable opponent. He was a four-time Norwegian Light Heavyweight Champion and is still considered one of the best Norwegian boxers of all time.
Throughout his career, Klemetsen won many prestigious titles and awards, including the European Light Heavyweight Championship and the World Light Heavyweight Championship.
After retiring, Klemetsen has remained an important figure in the Norwegian boxing community and has been an advocate for the sport. His legacy lives on in the form of his many boxing students, who carry on his teachings and the spirit of competition.
4. Magne Havnå
Magne Havnå was a Norwegian professional boxer who reached the pinnacle of his career in 1990. He won the WBO world title in the cruiserweight division by beating Boone Pultz in 5 rounds.
His success in the ring was an inspiration to his son Kai Robin Havnaa, who is now following in his father’s footsteps. Kai is also a professional boxer in the cruiserweight division and is currently undefeated as he continues his career.
Magne’s legacy lives on in his son, and it’s clear that Kai will strive to continue his father’s success.
5. Steffen Tangstad
Steffen Tangstad was a Norwegian professional boxer who had a successful career, winning two European Heavyweight Championships. He was given the opportunity to fight Michael Spinks for the IBF Heavyweight title on 6 September 1986.
Unfortunately, he was knocked out in the fourth round and this marked the end of his boxing career. Tangstad was an experienced boxer, having won several titles in his career, so taking on a fighter of Spinks’ caliber was a huge challenge.
Despite his best efforts, he was unable to make it past the fourth round and the match ended in a knockout.
This was a huge disappointment for Tangstad and his fans, as it was his last fight before retiring from professional boxing. The match between Tangstad and Spinks was a highly anticipated event and was broadcast throughout the world.
Tangstad had a lot of support from his home country, but ultimately he could not defeat the champion.
This was a defining moment in Tangstad’s career, as it marked the end of a long and successful boxing career. Despite the loss, Tangstad is still remembered fondly in Norway as one of the greats of the sport.
As a two-time European Heavyweight Champion, he will always be remembered as a fighter who achieved great success despite the odds. He may not have been able to win the IBF Heavyweight title, but his legacy will remain in the hearts of his fans and his country.
6. Thomas Hansvoll
Thomas Hansvoll is a retired Norwegian boxer who competed in the light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions. He started his boxing career as an amateur, representing the club IF Ørnulf and winning the Norwegian championships in 1993 and 1994.
After his successful amateur career, Thomas made his professional debut in November 1994. During his 32 professional bouts, he achieved a remarkable record of 26 wins, 2 draws, and 4 losses.
This impressive performance is a testament to Thomas’ skill and determination as a boxer.
7. Henry Tiller
Henry Tiller was a Norwegian athlete who made an impact on the international sports arena in the 1930s. He competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics, representing his home country of Norway.
Tiller was an accomplished boxer, who was highly respected by his peers in the boxing community. He was known for his technical skill, agility, and intelligence in the ring. Tiller had a successful amateur career, winning multiple competitions and titles.
He was a two-time Norwegian National Champion and went on to represent Norway at the European Boxing Championships in 1935.
He also competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics, where he was one of the few boxers to make it to the semi-finals, before being defeated by the eventual gold medalist. Despite his loss, Tiller’s experience at the Olympics was highly praised by his fans and peers.
He was seen as a symbol of strength and courage, and the Norwegian people were proud of his accomplishments. He was an inspiration to many aspiring athletes, and his legacy lives on in the sports world today.
8. Erling Nilsen
Erling Nilsen was a Norwegian athlete who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics, representing his home country in boxing. He was born in Norway in 1913 and trained for the Olympics in the sport of boxing.
Nilsen was a successful amateur boxer, and he had won several Scandinavian championships before the Olympics. Nilsen competed in the flyweight division, and although he was not victorious at the Olympics, his performance earned him the respect of many fellow athletes and fans.
His style was praised for its technical skill and focus, as well as for his tenacity in the ring. Nilsen was known for his commitment to the sport, and he continued to compete until the 1950s. He was also a respected coach and mentor to many younger boxers throughout his career.
Although his Olympic journey did not culminate in victory, Erling Nilsen’s dedication to the sport and his performance at the 1936 summer Olympics earned him a place in the hearts of many.
9. Pete Sanstol
Pete Sanstol was a formidable figure in the boxing world. He was a Norwegian professional boxer who had a great success in Canada. In 1931, he took the Canadian version of the World Bantamweight Championship in Montreal against Archie Bell.
After this success, he went on to contend for the NBA World Bantamweight Title twice but was unsuccessful. His accomplishments and influence in the boxing world were impressive enough to earn him induction to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000.
Sanstol was a talented and dedicated boxer. He trained hard and put in countless hours of practice to hone his skills and techniques. He faced tough opponents but prevailed, becoming the Canadian version of the World Bantamweight Champion.
He was determined to become a world champion and so he challenged for the NBA World Bantamweight Title twice, although he ultimately fell short of this goal. Despite his unsuccessful attempts at the NBA World Bantamweight Title, Sanstol’s career was impressive.
He was a highly skilled and successful boxer who was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000 in recognition of his accomplishments. This is a great honor that few boxers ever achieve. Pete Sanstol was a remarkable boxer who left a lasting impact on the sport.
He was a true champion, and his legacy will live on in the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
10. Andreas Evensen
Andreas Volden Evensen is a Norwegian professional boxer. He was born in Bogotá, Colombia and his trainer is Helge Wærøy. Evensen has had a successful career, having competed in four bouts on Sauerland Events Viasat Nordic Fight Night cards.
This demonstrates the level of skill and success that Evensen has achieved in the world of professional boxing. His bouts have garnered attention and recognition, as they have been held on cards that are broadcast across the Nordic region.
Evensen’s success as a professional boxer is a testament to his dedication and hard work, as well as the guidance and support of his trainer, Helge Wærøy.
11. Hjalmar Strømme
Hjalmar Strømme was a Norwegian boxer who competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics. He had an impressive career and was one of the top athletes at the Games. In the middleweight class he was one of the four athletes who made it to the final round.
However, he lost the bronze medal bout to Moe Herscovitch and ended up in fourth place. He was still highly regarded for his athletic performance, as he was able to compete at a high level among the world’s best athletes.
It is a testament to his dedication and hard work that he was able to make it to the final round. Hjalmar Strømme is a great example of how dedication and hard work can help you achieve great things, even if you don’t always win.
12. Arild Haugen
Arild “Hulk” Haugen is an impressive figure in the strength and boxing sports. Born in Sirdal, Norway, Haugen began his athletic career in strongman competitions.
In 2006, he set the Guinness World Record for being the youngest World’s Strongest Man competitor at the age of 20 years, 258 days during 2006 World’s Strongest Man group 1. His success in the strength sports led him to pursue a professional boxing career.
Currently, Haugen lives in Sandnes, Rogaland, where he continues to train and compete. Haugen is an inspiration for many, especially younger athletes. His drive and determination to reach his goals and break records is something that many aspire to.
He has achieved success in two very different sports, making him an even more impressive figure. His accomplishments prove that nothing is impossible if you are willing to put in the work and dedication.
Haugen is a perfect example of hard work paying off, and his story serves as motivation for many young athletes.
13. Harald Skog
Inge Harald Skog is a Norwegian athlete who specializes in the sport of boxing. At the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, he competed in the light heavyweight event.
This event is for boxers who weigh between 178 and 191 pounds. Skog was born in Norway in 1950 and began his competitive boxing career at an early age. During his amateur career, he won numerous tournaments throughout Europe, making him a well-known name in Norwegian boxing.
He was even awarded the title of ‘Norwegian Champion’ in 1971. At the 1972 Olympic Games, Skog won his first three bouts against competitors from the United States, Jamaica, and Cuba.
He was eliminated in the quarter-finals, however, by the eventual gold medalist, Mexican boxer Andres Aldama. Despite the loss, Skog’s Olympic career was seen as a great success and was celebrated by the people of Norway.
Inge Harald Skog continued to compete after the Olympics and eventually retired in 1978. He was inducted into the Norwegian Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003 and is remembered as one of the most successful light heavyweight boxers in Norway’s history.
14. Johan Clementz
Johan Fog Clementz was a boxer from Norway who was selected to compete in the 1920 Summer Olympics. He was placed in the light heavyweight class and faced off against British boxer Thomas Holdstock during the first round.
Unfortunately, Clementz was unable to secure a victory and was eliminated from the competition. This marked the end of his Olympic career, as he was never able to compete in the Olympics again.
Nevertheless, Clementz’s contribution to the 1920 Summer Olympics will remain an important part of Olympic history.
15. Sigurd Hoel
Sigurd Emanuel Hoel was a Norwegian boxer who competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics. He was a heavyweight boxer and had qualified for the quarter-final round of the Olympics. However, he was not able to proceed to the next round, as he lost his fight to Xavier Eluère.
This was a major disappointment for Sigurd Emanuel Hoel, as he had a lot of potential and was expected to do well in the Olympics. Despite his loss, Sigurd Emanuel Hoel was still remembered for his remarkable performance in the 1920 Summer Olympics.
He served as an inspiration to many aspiring boxers and was a reminder that even the toughest of competitors can sometimes be defeated.
16. Alf Pedersen
Alf Pedersen was a Norwegian boxer who had the opportunity to compete in the 1924 Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, he was eliminated in the first round of the welterweight class after losing his fight to Jan Cornelisse.
Despite his early elimination, Pedersen was remembered for his achievements in the boxing world. Sadly, only a year later in 1925, Pedersen passed away in Bergen due to meningitis, a condition caused by the inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
His untimely death not only shocked the boxing world but also the Norwegian community, as they had lost a talented athlete much too soon. Pedersen was well-known for his determination and enthusiasm, which was evident in the way he approached training and competing.
He was passionate about boxing and was not afraid to put in the hard work to achieve his goals. He was an inspiration to many, and his memory will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew him.
17. Ingvald Bjerke
Ingvald Johan Bjerke was an accomplished Norwegian boxer who represented Oslo AK in the 1928 Summer Olympics. He was born in Ullensaker and died in Hundorp, but his legacy remains in the sport of boxing. In the 1928 Olympics, Bjerke competed in the bantamweight class.
Unfortunately, he was eliminated in the first round after losing to John Daley, who went on to claim a silver medal in the event. Despite not advancing in the tournament, Bjerke’s performance is still remembered and respected by fans of boxing.
His commitment to the sport is an example to others and will not be forgotten.
18. Dagfinn Næss
Dagfinn Arthur Næss was a talented Norwegian boxer who was born in Bergen. During his career, he won nine individual national championships between 1953 and 1966, representing the club Bergen-Sparta. His boxing classes were lightweight and light welterweight.
In 1960, Næss participated in the Summer Olympics and finished in a tied ninth place. This success is a testament to his incredible dedication and skill in the sport. Næss’s achievements were not only confined to the boxing ring.
He was also a talented coach and mentor who helped to develop the skills of many young boxers. His passion for the sport was evident in his commitment to helping others reach their potential.
Through his hard work and dedication, Næss was able to reach his own goals and inspire those around him to do the same. Dagfinn Arthur Næss’s legacy will continue to live on through his impressive accomplishments in the boxing world.
His nine individual national championships, and his tied ninth place finish in the 1960 Summer Olympics, are a testament to his dedication and skill. He was an inspiration to many and his legacy will continue to live on through the memories of those who knew him.
19. Otto von Porat
Otto Wessel von Porat was a Norwegian professional boxer who competed in the heavyweight division. He is most notable for his performance at the 1924 Summer Olympics, where he won the gold medal in boxing.
In the final, he faced off against Denmark’s Søren Petersen and emerged victorious. Porat was a strong competitor in the ring and demonstrated a mastery of boxing skills. His punches were powerful and accurate and his defensive techniques kept his opponents at bay.
He was also a skilled tactician and was able to read his opponents’ movements and capitalize on their mistakes. Porat’s victory in the Olympic finals was a great moment for Norwegian athletics.
He had become the first Norwegian boxer to ever win an Olympic gold medal in the heavyweight division. His victory was celebrated throughout Norway, with many people hailing him as a national hero.
Porat’s career continued after the Olympics, as he continued to compete in professional boxing matches. He had a successful career, winning several championships and setting a number of records. He was also the first boxer to be inducted into the Norwegian Boxing Hall of Fame.
Otto Wessel von Porat was a Norwegian heavyweight boxer who made history by becoming the first Norwegian to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. He was a powerful and accurate striker, a skilled tactician, and a true champion who inspired many with his accomplishments.
20. Gunnar Hansen
Gunnar Hansen was an inspiring athlete with an extraordinary story. He was born in Oslo, Norway and competed in the 1948 Summer Olympics in the welterweight division of boxing.
He represented the sports club BK Pugilist and finished seventeenth in the Olympic competition. Hansen’s dedication to the sport of boxing was evident as he worked tirelessly to prepare for the 1948 Summer Olympics, despite having limited resources.
His commitment to his sport was further exemplified by the fact that he trained and competed for such a long period of time. Sadly, Hansen passed away in Tjøme, Norway, in 2015.
His legacy is one of hard work and perseverance, and his story is an example of how passion and dedication can take a person far. He was an inspiration for all amateur boxers and a role model for anyone striving to achieve their goals.
21. Leif Olve Dolonen Larsen
Leif Olve Dolonen Larsen is a multi-talented athlete from Norway who has competed in a variety of sports. He has a background in shot put, an Olympic sport which requires athletes to throw a metal ball as far as possible.
This sport has been part of the Olympic Games since their inception in the late 19th century. Additionally, Larsen has also competed in American football, a popular sport in the United States which requires players to pass, run, kick and tackle a ball.
He has also had a career in professional boxing, a combat sport where two opponents fight each other using their fists. This sport requires athletes to have strong physical and mental abilities.
Larsen has managed to excel in all of these sports, making him a highly-skilled athlete.
22. Georg Brustad
Georg Antonius Brustad was a talented athlete from Norway, who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics. As well as being an Olympic athlete, he also made history as Norway’s first professional boxer. He had a successful career in the ring, fighting 22 matches as a professional.
In the Summer Olympics, Brustad was part of the Norwegian gymnastics team which won the bronze medal in the gymnastics men’s team, Swedish system event. This was a huge achievement for the team and for Norway.
It was a great testament to Brustad’s skill that he was chosen to be part of the team that achieved this medal. Brustad’s success in the Olympics and in the boxing ring is a testament to his athletic ability and dedication to his sport.
He was an inspiration to many who followed in his footsteps, and his legacy still lives on today.
23. Olav Nilsen
Nils Olav Nilsen was a Norwegian footballer who had a long and successful career. He originally started as a striker but was later used as a midfielder.
During his time in the Norway national team, he scored 19 goals in 62 matches, making him an invaluable asset to the team. On club level, Nilsen played for Viking, where he was the team captain during their most successful years in the early 1970s.
He was a leader both on and off the field, and his ability to lead and motivate his teammates to success was one of the key factors in Viking’s success.
His experience and skill as a midfielder was also a valuable asset to the team. Nilsen’s career was a testament to his dedication and skill as a footballer.
His impressive tally of 19 goals in 62 matches for the national team is a testament to his quality as a footballer and his ability to make an impact on the field. He was also a leader off the field, and his leadership was a key factor in Viking’s success in the early 1970s.
Nils Olav Nilsen was a great footballer who made a lasting impact on the game.
24. Pål Arne Fagernes
Pål Arne Fagernes was a talented multi-sport athlete from Norway. He was primarily known for his javelin throwing, but he also excelled in a variety of sports, including cycling, athletics, and cross country skiing.
As a junior athlete, Fagernes had achieved success at a high national level in all of these sports before deciding to focus exclusively on javelin throwing. Fagernes represented two different clubs during his career.
Asker SK was the club he was associated with when he first started out, and IK Tjalve was the club he was associated with during his peak years as a javelin thrower.
During this time, he achieved a number of impressive feats, including national records and a bronze medal at the 1990 European Championships. Fagernes was an incredibly versatile athlete, and his accomplishments in multiple sports are a testament to his athletic ability.
His decision to focus on javelin throwing ultimately paid off, and he will be remembered as one of the greatest javelin throwers in Norwegian history.
25. Mindaugas Gedminas
Mindaugas Gedminas is an impressive figure in the boxing world. He is a Norwegian amateur boxer and has achieved an impressive amount of success in his career.
Gedminas is a four-time Norwegian champion and four-time Scandinavian boxing champion, having won a total of eight titles.
He also achieved a fifth-place finish in the 2022 Men’s European Boxing Championships held in Yerevan, Armenia. Gedminas is a true champion in the ring, having faced off against some of the best boxers in Europe.
He is a great example of what hard work and dedication can lead to in the world of boxing. His accomplishments are a testament to his commitment to the sport and his unwavering resolve to succeed.
Gedminas is an inspiration to aspiring amateur boxers and a reminder of what can be achieved through passion and dedication.
Norway has produced some of the best boxers in the world. From Ole Klemetsen to Cecilia Brækhus, Norway has had some incredible boxers that have made their mark in the boxing world.
Norway’s boxers have gained recognition from all over the world and have been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Norway’s boxers have won many championships and titles, and have set many records.
Norway is a country that has a strong boxing tradition, and its boxers have made a lasting impression on the world of boxing.
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