Name: Marcel Thil
Birthplace: Saint-Dizier, Haute-Marne, France
Died: 1968-08-14 (Age:64)
Hometown: Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Height: 5′ 8″ / 173cm
Reach: 68½″ / 174cm
Boxing Record: click
Marcel Thil Gallery
Manager: Lew Burston
- Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame (1999) and the International Boxing Hall of Fame (2005).
Born in Saint-Dizier, Haute-Marne in the Champagne-Ardenne Region of France, Marcel Thil started boxing at a very young age and turned professional at the age of sixteen. For a number of years he was a journeyman boxer but as he matured to full adult strength, with training he developed power in both hands that saw him begin to win regularly by knockout.
In 1928, Thil won the French middleweight boxing championship and the following year captured the European title. After losing his European championship he came back to capture the International Boxing Union IBU world middleweight championship through a controversial eleventh round disqualification in a June 11, 1932 fight held in Paris, France. He became a major celebrity and as a good friend of celebrated actor Jean Gabin, he was the toast of Paris during the next four and a half years when he successfully defended his Middleweight title on nine occasions. In addition, Thil moved up a weight class to win the European light-heavyweight title.
In 1935 Thil lived in the Sovjet Union and trained the Sovjet Union National team. Among his boxers were the legendary heavyweights Stepanov and Mihailov. ( Source: Norwegian newspaper Arbeiderbladet 1935).
On September 23, 1937 in New York City Marcel Thil lost a non-title fight to Fred Apostoli when the fight had to be stopped after he suffered a severe gash over one eye. At thirty-three years of age, Thil chose to retire. In his career, he had fought 148 times, winning 113 of them with 54 via knockout. He lost 22 fights and fought to a draw on 13 occasions.
Thil remained active in boxing circles as an advisor and cornerman and was named honorary president of the Dieppe Boxing Club. He made a living with a company in Reims until eventually retiring to a home in Cannes on the French Riviera where in 1968 he died after being seriously injured in an automobile accident. He is buried there in the Grand Jas Cemetery.
Marcel Thil was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame at Canastota, New York in the United States. In France, a street was named in his honor in his birthplace of Saint-Dizier and in the city of Reims, both a street and a sports stadium carry his name.