Former world heavyweight boxing champion Ingemar Johansson was honored in a funeral on Friday after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years. He was 76 years old.
Six members of Ingemar Johansson amateur boxing club carried the former heavyweight champion’s casket from a packed memorial on Friday, a sign on a garland of flowers reading ‘Once a Champ, always a Champ’.
More than a thousand people attended the funeral in Johansson’s hometown of Guttenberg. He died in a nursing home last Friday after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, more than 10 years ago, Yahoo news reports.
‘Known as ‘Ingo’ to Swedes, Johansson stunned the boxing world when he knocked out Floyd Patterson to win the heavyweight title at the Yankee Stadium on June 26, 1959’.
Floyd Patterson later avenged the loss a year later when he knocked out Johansson in the fifth round in New York.
Raymond Patterson, Floyd Patterson’s brother, honored Johansson by donating a gift to the Swedish fighter’s memorial fund, the report added.
Johansson was born in Gothenburg, Sweden on September 22, 1932. He fought 28 times professionally, won 26 and lost two.
Johansson and Patterson later became good friends who would visit each other when time permits. After retirement, Johansson made several movies in Sweden and later settled down in Pompano, Florida where he owned a bar called ‘Ingo’