The news site L’Equipe reports that the French boxer Robert Cohen has passed away at the age of 91.
The outlet reports that Cohen died on Wednesday in Brussels, France, which is where he lived. The cause of death has yet to be revealed, but, given his age, it is possible that he simply died of natural causes.
First world championship
The pinnacle of Cohen’s boxing career was in the 1950s. At 5 foot 3-and-a-half inches, the French boxer mostly competed in the bantamweight category.
It was in September of 1954 that Cohen managed to become the bantamweight world champion. He earned the vacant title by beating Thai boxer Chamroem Songkitrat before a crowd of over 60,000 spectators, including the King and Queen of Thailand.
In the preceding years to this fight, from 1951 to September of 1954, Cohen had a record of 34 wins, one loss, and two draws. It was a rather swift rise to the top of the bantamweight category.
But, unfortunately, Cohen’s fall was just as fast.
Cohen loses his title
It wasn’t long after earning the world championship title that Cohen met his future wife, a daughter of a wealthy industrialist from Belgian Congo, which is now known as the Democratic-Republican of the Congo. And, in terms of boxing, it was all downhill from there.
On December 23, 1954, the National Boxing Associated took Cohen’s bantamweight title from him after he refused to defend it within 90 days. Other boxing associations, however, continued to recognize Cohen as the champion.
On December 11, 1955, Cohen had a challenging fight with Cherif Hamia, which he lost after the referee declared a technical knockout from an eye injury that Cohen had suffered. But, because this was a featherweight fight, Cohen kept his bantamweight title.
Cohen’s career comes to an end
After that fight, Cohen was badly injured in an automobile accident. And, it is this accident that significantly shortened his boxing career.
In September of 1955, Cohen had another difficult fight with Willie Toweel that ended in a draw. And, in June of 1956, Cohen ended up losing his bantamweight title to Mario D’Agata.
At only 25-years-old, this was the end of Cohen’s boxing career. He finished with a record of 36 wins, four losses, and three draws.