Home Boxing History Puncher from the Past: Germany’s Gustav Scholz

Puncher from the Past: Germany’s Gustav Scholz

Born: Berlin, Germany 12 April 1930
Died: 21 August 2000
Record: 96 fights, 88 wins (46 KO/TKO) 2 losses, 6 draws
Whilst studying as a chef he joined a boxing school in 1947 to box as an amateur. In October 1948 when an opponent failed to turn up for a fight Scholz took his place and won the fight.
He won the German welterweight title in May 1951
In March 1953 he stopped future European middleweight champion Chris Christensen
In March 1954 with his record then 49-0-2 he fought in Madison Square Garden and floored and outpointed Al Andrews
In March 1955 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was out of the ring for almost two years
June 1957 in one of Germany’s biggest fights he knocked out Peter Mueller in three rounds to win the German middleweight title

In March 1958 he was floored three times and outpointed in Paris by Charles Humez who had lost only 6 of his 96 fights. That loss ended Scholz’s unbeaten record of 68 fights (64-0-4) the ninth-highest unbeaten run in boxing history.
In October 1958 he stopped Humez in the twelfth round to win the European middleweight title so reversing his only defeat at that time.
Over the next three years Scholz scored wins over many of the best fighters in Europe/World including 29-0-3 Hans Wholers, 23-1-1 Johnny Halafihi, Mueller again by kayo in just 62 seconds, South African Mike Holt, Italian Rocco Mazzola, 26-2 Scot John McCormack, 28-3-2 Frenchman Paul Roux and American Jesse Bowdry. He also drew with Don Fullmer. That run earned him a fight with Harold Johnson who was at that time recognised by the National Boxing Association and the New York State Athletic Commission as light heavyweight champion. Scholz’s record was then 85-1-6. Johnson won a clear unanimous decision. Scholz went on to beat world-rated fighters Chic Calderwood and Italian Giulio Rinaldi and retired on 4 April 1964.

After retiring Scholz opened an advertising agency and had a short career in films and TV. He also appeared in musicals and released three record singles.
During his career, he was listed alongside Max Schmelling as the biggest star in the history of German boxing. In 1980 he published his autobiography but by then his drinking habit had wiped the shine of much of his earlier high standing. In July 1984 he shot and killed his wife. He was arrested but claimed the gun had gone off accidentally when he was cleaning it. He was imprisoned for three years on the charge of manslaughter.
He eventually developed dementia and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and died of a heart attack at the age of 70.