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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Fredrik Alvarez
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FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Super Middleweight Champion Fredrik Alvarez. 

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


With Italian ancestry, former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Super Middleweight Champion Fredrik Alvarez was born in Koping, Sweden in April of 1975. Along with his younger brother Giovanni, he was raised in Borlanga and trained by father Constantino through over one-hundred amateur bouts.  

Boxing on the unpaid circuit in both Sweden and Italy, he won the Italian amateur championships at Middleweight at the age of eighteen in 1993, and decided to turn professional in 1995, still only nineteen years old and with a nickname suitable for his fighting-style: “Tyson”.

Due to the fact that professional boxing was banned by Swedish law in 1995, Alvarez signed with Danish Hall-of-Fame promoter Mogens Palle, and made his debut on March 17, 1995 at K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen, stopping Englishman Mark Hale (5-11-1) in the first round.

With the backing of a big Scandinavian TV deal, Palle kept Alvarez extremely busy. In 1995 he boxed seven times, from March to December, and the following year he entered the ring for no less than eleven fights, bringing his record to 18-0 (13) before the start of 1997.

While his opposition wasn't exactly frightening during this period, Alvarez did face some decent boxers such as undefeated Dutchman Jack Zieleman (6-0), experienced Venezuelan Armando Rodriguez (26-8-1) and tricky American Harold Roberts (5-1).

He was presented with many different styles, and, besides fourteen outings in Denmark, he also gained important experience from fighting twice in the United Kingdom, once in Austria and once in his second home-country, as part of the undercard for Vincienco Nardiello vs. Robing Reid in Milan in the fall of 1996.

1997 started well for Alvarez, with knockout victories over American imports Jason Christopher (10-3), Quinton Osgood (5-1) and Karl Willis (22-6-1). At 21-0 (16), still only twenty-two years old and climbing the European rankings fast, he was considered a major prospect for the world scene in years to come.

Palle had title fights in mind for the young Italian-Swede, but he, and certainly Alvarez, was brought back down to earth in June of 1997 when another American, trial-horse Melvin Wynn (16-27-1), very surprisingly upset the script and won on points over eight rounds to inflict the first loss on Alvarez record.

After having everything mostly his own way in the ring, an opponent decided to take advantage of Alvarez having an off night. Wynn had proven capable when the stars aligned, beating another undefeated Scandinavian in Leif Keiski from Norway, but no-one expected him to do the same to Alvarez.

The shock-loss to Wynn probably delayed the bigger fights a bit for Alvarez, but Palle still had great confidence in him. It was not the first time he had seen one of his boxers underestimate an opponent, enter the ring uninspired, or lose a fight due to poor preparations.

After a break over the 1997 summer, a re-focused Alvarez returned to the ring with comprehensive, albeit low-profile, victories in September and October. The set-back loss had been put to good use, and a plan was in place to get back towards the top of the Super Middleweight division.

On November 14, 1997, back at the venue where he started his pro career, K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen, Alvarez faced former champion Luciano Torres (45-4) from Brazil for the vacant WBF World Super Middleweight title.

Torres, by far the best opponent of Alvarez career at that point, had held the title between 1993 and 1995, making seven successful defenses before relinquishing it without losing it in the ring. He traveled to Denmark highly motivated to win back his crown.

But, after a tough training camp in Italy, Fredrik “Tyson” Alvarez was on a mission to firmly redeem himself. He would not be denied that night, and outright pulverized Torres in two one-sided rounds to become WBF world champion.

Unfortunately his reign would be short. Alvarez kept busy with two non-title victories over Lonnie Knowles (16-3) and Frank Williams (7-1-1) in the first half of 1998, before losing the title to extremely accomplished South African Thulani “Sugarboy” Malinga (42-11) on June 6.

Malinga, who had lost the WBC World title to England's Richie Woodhall only a few months earlier, was on top of his game that evening in Copenhagen, and stopped a game but bewildered Alvarez in the eleventh round.

Mogens Palle didn't give up on Alvarez, but probably realized that for all his qualities, such as punching-power and relentless pressure, the Swede still had plenty to learn to be victorious when fighting against certain styles.

Over the next two years he matched Alvarez wisely, and ten victories later, against decent but carefully chosen foes, his record stood at 36-2 (24). But a fight in France on September 16, 2000 against Andrey Shkalikov (49-5-1) for the European crown, might very well have been the beginning to the end.

Alvarez was completely outclassed by the tough Russian, and his corner decided to throw in the towel in round eight. Retirement seemed like a very realistic option, but six months later he returned to the ring, fighting a few kilos below the Super Middleweight limit.

It was decided that an attack on the Middleweight division was the way forward, but a so-so performance, and unanimous decision victory, against George Klinesmith (8-1-1) didn't exactly have people shouting from the rooftops.

Carl Cockerham (10-6-2) was blown out in the opening round in his next outing, before a crack at the vacant IBA World Middleweight title against Evans Ashira (19-0) ended in another disaster, and brutal stoppage defeat in eleven rounds, in June of 2001.

Ashira was supposed to fight Alvarez compatriot Armand Krajnc, the former WBO World Champion, but when Krajnc was forced to pull out, Alvarez, to his credit, accepted to step in and face the 1996 Kenyan Olympian.

At this point it was basically over for Alvarez. He did fight three more times, winning twice before losing a decision after six rounds to a man he had no business losing to, Yameen Muhammad (5-1-1) in October of 2002.

His final record 40-5 (26), Alvarez went through and overcame drug addiction in retirement, and faced tragedy when brother Giovanni, who also boxed professionally between 2000 and 2007, died at thirty-six in 2016.

At the time where Giovanni passed away, the Alvarez brothers, along with other family members, ran a hotel just outside of San Marco Argentano in Italy. Fredrik still runs the hotel, now with his wife Tea, whom he married in 2018, by his side.

  Part 59: Ajose Olusegun
  Part 58: Chevelle Hallback
  Part 57: Evander Holyfield
  Part 56: Peter Culshaw
  Part 55: Rolando Toyogon
  Part 54: Joaquin Velasquez
  Part 53: Steve Molitor
  Part 52: Nadya Hokmi
  Part 51: Bert Cooper
  Part 50: Alfred Kotey
  Part 49: Yosuke Nishijima
  Part 48: Wayne Rigby
  Part 47: Jesus Chong
  Part 46: Renata Szebeledi
  Part 45: Lester Ellis
  Part 44: Patrick Vungbo
  Part 43: Patrick Washington
  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

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