Danish promoter, matchmaker and manager Mogens Palle has passed away at the age of 88 after a long battle with cancer. Palle officially retired after the show he staged on April 22 of this year in Copenhagen after Enoch Poulsen won the EBU super lightweight title and Sarah Mahfoud retained the IBF female featherweight title.
Mogens Palle began promoting professional boxing with his father Torkhild in 1957. By 1964 Mogens was on his own and signed up amateur stars Tom Bogs and Borje Krogh. Boxing has always been bigger in Denmark than in the other Nordic countries and in the late 1960’s Bogs and Krogh drew big crowds culminating when the great Carlos Monzon defended the world middleweight title against Bogs a little over 50 years ago (Aug 19, 1972) on an outdoor show in Copenhagen. Palle also had a big hand in during the short lived Norwegian boxing boom in the 1970´s as matchmaker and advisor.
In the late 70’s Ugandan Ayub Kalule arrived in Denmark and another golden era in Danish boxing followed. Kalule won the WBA junior middleweight title and fought the likes of “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Mike McCallum and Davey Moore. During this time, welterweights Jorgen Hansen and Hans Henrik Palm also headlined big shows.
They were followed by the Bredahl brothers, Johnny and Jimmi, lightweight Gert Bo Jacobsen and heavyweights Anders Eklund and Steffen Tangstad and a big boxing boom throughout the 1990’s.where the likes of “Super” Brian Nielsen, Soren Sondergaard, Thomas Damgaard, Jesper D Jensen, Mads Larsen, Rudy Markussen and the best of them all, Mikkel Kessler ruled.
There were lean times as well, but Palle never gave up and always made new plans. He went into semi-retirement for a few years but came back with what he called Danish Fight Night (a hint at Team Sauerland and their Nordic Fight Night) and quickly developed new stars in Enock Poulsen and Sarah Mahfoud.
Mogens Palle was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008 and few have deserved it more. He was also acknowledged by the EBU for his decades in boxing. He was a legend in his own time.
Palle was an excellent matchmaker, among the best in the business. He was however not the most diplomatic man around and with his hot temper and outspoken ways he made a lot of enemies along the way especially in Danish media.