Holberg, who competed in the 1908 Olympics for Denmark as a lightweight (he lost to Matt Wells), was the world welterweight champion for 23 days in 1914. After retiring in the early 1920s, Holberg ran a gym in Vienna. Later in that decade, a demented student beat him over the head with a club and left him for dead. His family brought him back to Copenhagen, where he recovered (information provided by Mike DeLisa of CyberBoxingZone).
Birth and Death Dates:
b. May 29, 1883 - d. March 16, 1947
Before turning professional in 1908, Holberg was an outstanding amateur; he was the Danish featherweight champ in 1902 and lightweight champ in 1903, 1905, 1907, and 1908. Following his first-round loss to Wells at the Olympics, Holberg fought his first professional fight in December 1908, knocking out Fred Hansen in the sixth-round of their bout in Copenhagen. He fought exclusively in Denmark in 1909, winning four of six fights. By 1913, he was fighting in Australia, where he fought Ray Bronson in January 1914 for the vacant world welterweight title.
Holberg defeated Bronson in a 20-round decision to become champ, but lost the title three weeks later to Australian Tom McCormick. Holberg was diqualified in the sixth-round for a foul, and the Plattsburgh Daily Press declared, "Holberg was out classed all through the contest." After losing the title, Holberg left Australia and returned to Europe, fighting exclusively in Scandinavia and England. He never received another title shot and boxed successfully, but infrequently. Between August 1916 and May 1919, Holberg did not lose a bout, but fought only 10 times; he retired in 1921.
5'5", 133-148 pounds
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