Jürgen Blin, who went 7 rounds to Ali, dies at the age of 79

Entering the Zurich arena, Ali held up his index finger to the crowd, predicting a first-round victory. However, Blin was quick to attack and shocked the crowd by punching his opponent in the face in the first three rounds. But Ali rallied and sent Blin to the canvas with a strong far-right in the seventh round, making him unable to come back.

Blin later said that his weight softened his rise in the boxing world: at under 200 pounds he was too light to be effective in the heavyweight division. In an interview with Stern magazine in 2008, he said: “It was my shortcoming. I’ve always been very light. My competitors were sometimes 40 pounds heavier.”

He retired in October 1973 after a brutal KO loss to Ron Lyle in Denver in the second round, and soon opened the Hamburg pub where a photo from the Ali fight overlooked the scene. He directed the organization until 2013.

In addition to Blin’s son Jörg, whose marriage ended in divorce, he is survived by another son, Frank; three grandchildren; and partner Heidi Arinka. His third son, Knut, who is also a boxer, died by suicide in 2004 after severe mental illness.

One of Blin’s grandchildren, Joscha Blin, started her own professional fighting career last year.

At the age of 77, Blin has reached another high point in his life, but to see that softened with loss: He won the equivalent of nearly $2 million in a government lottery, according to Jörg Blin. But old Blin seems to have told too many people this: Months after the win, thieves broke into his house and fled with hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.

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