In boxing what was for Austrian Hans Orsoliks (76) (two European titles), he was for German René Weller. The standout German boxer of the 1980s died on Tuesday at the age of 69 from long-term dementia.
His wife Maria confirmed the relevant report of the “Bild” newspaper to “DPA” on Wednesday night. Weller enjoyed considerable success as an amateur and professional boxer. “Beautiful Rene” is best remembered for her standout performance.
But first in sport: As an amateur, Weller won the German featherweight and lightweight championships nine times and represented Germany at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. After switching to professionals, he became the most important German boxer of the 1980s – in part because he presented himself as a man in fist fighting. In 1984, Weller won the European Championship crown in the lightweight division, his only defeat coming two years later against eventual world champion Gert Bo Jacobsen.
Weller retired in 1993 after 55 professional bouts. Five years later he was arrested for counterfeiting drug trade, a year later sentenced to seven years in prison for dealing cocaine, receiving stolen goods, inciting to forge documents and illegal possession of weapons. After four and a half years behind bars, he was released for good behavior. He later participated in various reality shows on private television with his wife.
Weller, who lived in his hometown of Pforzheim, suffered from dementia in his final years – his wife Maria took care of her husband until the end. A few weeks before his death, he called on his friends and the public to say goodbye to him. “The location is not good at all. It’s a nightmare,” she described the situation. And further: “The doctor asked to let me go.”