Marijan Benes died on Tuesday at the age of 67 in Banja Luka, the main town in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska.
Born in the Serbian capital Belgrade, Benes was known as one of the best boxers in Yugoslav history.
He won nine titles in Bosnia, four Yugoslav titles and a number of other competitions during his amateur career.
As a professional, he won a European Boxing Union title in the light welterweight category in 1979.
He told media that he was forces to participate in 1992-95 war in Bosnia as a trench-digger for the Bosnian Serb Army, and his younger brother was killed in the conflict.
He said in 2004 that he had to leave Banja Luka at one point after receiving various threats because of his pro-Yugoslavia stance, but decided to come back after a year.
“I will never give up on being Yugoslav, I am Croat and Serb and Bosniak,” Benes told media in an interview in which he commented on ethnic tensions in Bosnia.
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