CHRISTIAN CHRISTENSEN, the Danish boxer, has died at the age of 78. Known in Denmark as "Gentleman Chris", he beat Scotland's John "Cowboy" McCormick to gain the European middleweight crown in 1962. He lost it three months later to the Hungarian Laszlo Papp.

A year after surrendering the title, he challenged the world middleweight champion Emile Griffith, only to be stopped by the American in the ninth round.

Christensen's amateur career featured 100 bouts, including the 1948 London Olympic Games. He turned professional in 1949 and won the Danish title the following year. He fought 55 times before retiring in 1985.

His promoter, Mogens Palle, said Christensen was "not only the best and most elegant boxer that Denmark fostered" after the Second World War, but also had "a calibre and format that we seldom experience today". He leaves a wife and three children.


Max Schmeling, German boxer, 99.

Jose Luis Martinez, Spanish shot putter, 34.

Yvonne Sherman Tutt, US figure skater, 74.