He was crowned European boxing champion in 1966 and 1969. Jean Josselin died Sunday at Gray hospital (Haute-Saône) at the age of 81.
A native of Besançon, French champion in 1965, Jean Josselin had played 117 fights among amateurs (114 wins) and 89 among professionals (66 wins including 41 by KO, 16 defeats and 7 draws). In his quest for the world title, he had failed in points, after 15 rounds, against Texan Curtis Cokes, November 28, 1966 at the Memorial Auditorium in Dallas.
Among the “great men of the noble art”
Not long ago affected by Alzheimer’s disease and a lung infection, “he was gone very quickly.” In the space of two days, his state of health deteriorated enormously ”, declared his son, Christophe Josselin. “He was serene, he passed away gently”.
“Jean Josselin was one of the great men of the noble art,” commented the French Boxing Federation in a statement published on its website. “A star has died out”.
At the end of his sports career, he had run a large brasserie in Strasbourg, A La Ville de Paris, before returning to Besançon in the 1970s, where he had opened a café-restaurant, Le Ring, which was sold a few years later.
In his city, he was also invested in the boxing club, the Olympic Ring Bisontin, which paved the way for other famous boxers. “It was he who made me want to become champion,” said Morrade Hakkar, himself twice French middleweight champion and European champion in 2002 and 2005.
He only received a meager worker’s pension
The club room was renamed “Salle Jean Josselin” in 2017, according to the daily Eastern Republican. The city paid tribute to her in 2019 by organizing a gala at the Palais des sports with a fight between Raphaël Tronché, then reigning French heavyweight champion, against his challenger, Zakaria Azzouzi, and another fight, female, with the champion of France Myriam Dellal.
The objective was in particular to raise 10,000 euros to help him, while he only received a meager worker pension. “He is a champion, crowned with a huge track record, which disappears,” regretted the mayor of Besançon, Anne Vignot, in a press release. She underlined “the humility and pugnacity which characterized him”. A condolence register has been opened in town hall, and a tribute ceremony will be organized Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Saint-Joseph-de-Besançon church.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr