International Boxing Hall of Fame

Marcel Thil

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Marcel Thil
Real name Marcel Thil
Rated at Middleweight
Nationality Flag of France French
Birth date May 25, 1904
Birth place Saint-Dizier, France
Death date August 14, 1968 (aged 64)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 148
Wins 113
Wins by KO 54
Losses 22
Draws 13
No contests 0

Marcel Thil was a French boxer and world champion.

Born in Saint-Dizier, Haute-Marne in the Champagne-Ardenne Region of France, Marcel Thil started boxing at a very young age and turned professional at the age of sixteen. For a number of years he was a journeyman boxer but as he matured to full adult strength, with training he developed power in both hands that saw him begin to win regularly by knockout.

In 1928, Thil won the French middleweight boxing championship and the following year captured the European title. After losing his European championship he came back to capture the International Boxing Union (IBU) world middleweight championship through a controversial eleventh round disqualification in a June 11, 1932 fight held in Paris, France against Gorilla Jones. He became a major celebrity and as a good friend of celebrated actor Jean Gabin, he was the toast of Paris during the next four and a half years when he successfully defended his middleweight title eleven times. In addition, Thil moved up a weight class to win the European light-heavyweight title.

On September 23, 1937 in New York City, Thil ultimately lost the world middleweight title to Fred Apostoli when the fight had to be stopped after he suffered a severe gash over one eye. At thirty-three years of age, Thil chose to retire.

Thil remained active in boxing circles as an advisor and cornerman and was named honorary president of the Dieppe Boxing Club. He made a living with a company in Reims until eventually retiring to a home in Cannes on the French Riviera where in 1968 he died after being seriously injured in an automobile accident. He is buried there in the Grand Jas Cemetery.

Marcel Thil was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame at Canastota, New York in the United States. In France, a street was named in his honor in his birthplace of Saint-Dizier and in the city of Reims, both a street and a sports stadium carry his name.

Preceded by
Inaugural champion
IBU World Middleweight Champion
June 11, 1932 September 23, 1937
Succeeded by
Fred Apostoli