Boxing Legend Mate Parlov to Be Honoured With Memorial in Fažana

Total Croatia News

A monument in Parlov’s memory will be unveiled in Fažana, Istria

If you ask a foreigner to name the most famous Croatian athletes, they tend to cite Mirko Cro Cop, Luka Modrić, Mario Mandžukić. Some will remember Dražen Petrović, Goran Ivanišević, Janica Kostelić or any of the 1998 fame, headed by Šuker. However, the actual most successful Croatian athlete of the 20th century rarely makes the top 5.

The legendary Croatian boxer Mate Parlov was an Olympic gold medalist and a European and World champion – both as amateur and as professional. Ten years after his passing in 2008, a monument will be installed in Istria in Parlov’s memory, in the town of Fažana near Pula, reports Glas Istre on January 3, 2018.

Even though there have been talks about Zagreb and Pula as the cities to host the first monument to Parlov, the late boxer’s family is happy to have settled on Fažana, a town in which Parlov lived since 1971.

His son, Matko Parlov, stated the family is very satisfied with the final work. The life-size sculpture is cast in bronze, and will be unveiled at a ceremony on Sunday, January 7. The date is symbolic, marking the historic occasion in 1978 when Parlov defeated the Argentinian boxer Miguel Angel Cuello and won the WBC world light-heavyweight title.

The monument was made by sculptor Ante Jurkić, and is actually the second sculpture depicting the famous athlete. The first one was made by the same artist and was supposed to be erected in Pula, as requested by the Parlov family and the Croatian Boxing Federation; as they couldn’t come to an agreement with the local authorities in Pula, the sculpture might get installed in Zagreb. In the meantime, the family reached out to Fažana Municipality and decided to make another memorial. The Municipality provided 50.000 kuna, with various donors and sponsors reaching out to help cover the rest of the expenses.

“Mate earned the right [for his monument] to be here, in the place where he lived, where people remember him with pride. Locals are reacting well to the [news about the] memorial”, said Ada Damjanac, the former Mayor of Fažana Municipality.

A couple of years ago, the Municipality decided to name a seaside promenade in Fažana after Parlov, and the new memorial is seen as a welcome addition. “This is an important story in regards to the promotion of Fažana. All the guests who take a walk along the promenade will be glad to take a photo with the world champion”, Damjanac said.

The memorial inauguration will start on Sunday at 11, at the Mate Parlov promenade. At 11.30, the ceremony will move to the Multimedia Centre which will host an exhibition of Parlov’s medals, cups, awards and championship belts. As the legendary athlete is still remembered with fondness, a large audience is expected to attend the ceremony, including Mate’s associates, fellow athletes, and fans.


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