German trainer and boxer Manfred Wolke has died at the age of 81. Wolke, representing East Germany, won a gold medal in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and also represented his country in 1972 in the Munich Olympics. He won silver in the European championships in 1967 and 1971, ending his amateur career with an excellent record of 236-22. 

After Wolkle's active career ended, he became a trainer, coaching Rudi Fink to a gold medal in the 1980 Olympics and Henry Maske to a gold medal in Seoul in 1988.

When Maske turned pro with Wilfried Sauerland, Wolke came along as coach and played a big part in the German boxing boom in the 1990s.

Wolke also trained heavyweight Axel Schulz, who in 1995 fought George Foreman so closely that many claimed he had been robbed in a loss. Additionally, Wolke trained Danilo Haussler, who won an EBU title.

Wolke's fighters were especially strong on conditioning, defense and getting the job done – and the German crowds didn't seem to mind when his charges sometimes sacrificed entertainment value for the sake of results.


French light heavyweights Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (21-1, 10 KOs) and Thomas Faure (24-5-1, 2 KOs) will meet for the vacant EBU title June 15 in Pont-Sainte-Maxence.

The winner will be lined up to face England's Shakan Pitters (19-2, 6 KOs), the mandatory challenger.


IBF cruiserweight champ Jai Opetaia and the WBC champion in recess in the same weight division, Badou Jack, mingled in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday.

Jack has spent well over a year waiting for a fight against then-WBC bridgerweight titleholder Lukasz Rozanski, but for one reason or another Skills Entertainment Challenge, his promoter, never could put it together. Instead, Rozanski fought Lawrence Okolie and was stopped in one round.

A Opetaia-Jack fight is possible, but Opetaia manager Michael Francis says that Jack needs to regain the WBC title for that to materialize. That complicates matters, as current titleholder Noel Mikaelian is sidelined with a cut eye and had to postpone his planned defense against Ryan Rozcki.