Nissen, the Commonwealth flyweight champion from 1971-73, has helped troubled teens in Australia since his retirement from boxing. Henry began working with tough youths at Pentridge Prison, then became a child welfare worker. Although Nissen works primarily with young people, he has also dedicated himself to helping disadvantaged and struggling families. The annual Henry Nissen Cup is awarded to the winner of a three-match cricket series between Emerald Hill and Sacred Heart Missions in Australia.
Birth and Death Dates:
Born in 1948 to Polish Jewish parents in a post-war displaced persons camp, Nissen moved to Australia when he was a one-year old baby. As a teenager, he got involved with gangs; but then both he and his brother Leon turned to boxing. The brothers became successful amateur boxers, and Henry won a gold medal at the 1969 Maccabiah Games as a bantamweight. Turning pro later that year, Nissen fought as a flyweight, and won the Australian title after only three bouts. Three years later, he defeated John McClusky on an eighth-round technical knockout to capture the Commonwealth flyweight title. He held the title for two years before losing to Big Jim West. Nissen later retired, having won 16 of 18 professional fights.
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