Mate Parlov was born 1948 in Split, Croatia. He is considered as one of the greatest amateur light-heavyweight boxer and also he is the first ever pro-world champion from the former communist block countries. Parlov is also regarded as one of the greatest sports person of Croatia and Yugoslavia.
As amateur Mate had 276 fights with only 19 losses. The eight times he was Yugoslavian National champion, but 1968 he has represented his country on the Summer Olympics in Mexico, where he was illuminated in quarterfinals at middleweight (75 Kilo). The first international success was achieved one year later, in Bucharest, where Mate became the runner-up on European Championships, in the final losing to The Russian, Wladimir Tarasenkov. In 1971 Parlov moves up to light-heavy (81 Kilo) and becomes the European Champion in Madrid. In 1972 Mate is the favorite of light-heavyweight division on Munich Olympic Games, where he won the Gold Medal, in the finals knocking out The Cuban, Gilberto Carillo. The second European Gold comes in Beograd, 1973, but in 1974 Mate won the gold on the first ever Amateur World Championships in Havanna, in the finals facing the serious problems against The Russian Oleg Korotaev, but because of a bad cut of Soviet boxer, the fight was stopped in the 2-nd.
1975 Parlov turns pro and just one year later he becomes European Champion at light-heavy. Mate has defended his belt for three times later on. On January, 1978, in Milan, Mate becomes one of the first East-European professional World Champion. In 9-th round he knocked-out Miguel Angel Cuello of Argentina and takes his WBC title. This belt Mate defended only once, before lost it to The American Marvin Johnson by TKO in 10-th, at the very same year in Sicily. At 1978 was created the new division- cruiserweight, and Mate fights for the first vacant WBC title against the another American, Marvin Camel. The fight was scheduled in Parlov's native town of Split, but suprisingly went to the draw. The rematch came four month later and Mate lost on points in 15 rounds. This was Parlov's last fight, he retired with the record of 24(12 KO)-3(1 KO)-2.
After retiring Parlov with his family moves to the town of Pula, on Istrian Peninsula and opens his own restaurant. He is the national coach of Yugoslavian team on the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los-Angeles and also is the often guest on TV channels as the boxing commentator. Mate Parlov three times was awarded as the best athlete of Croatia and Yugoslavia and regarded as the Croatian Sports Person of the 20-th Century! In 2008 Mate was diagnosed having the lung cancer, four month later he died... Today, Mate Parlov would celebrate his 65-th Birthday!