Marijan Beneš

Jun 11, 1951 - Sep 4, 2018(67)

Boxer with a soft heart

No one knew that beneath the rough exterior of the boxing champion was a gentle poetic soul...

Marijan Beneš was a legend of Yugoslav boxing. As a ten-year-old kid, he defeated an eighteen-year-old boy in the ring. In his long amateur career, he played 299 matches, and won as many as 272 of them. In his professional career, he defended the belt of the European champion four times. But almost no one knew that beneath the rough exterior of the boxing champion was a gentle poetic soul...

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Beneš loved art from an early age. He attended a music school, and besides playing the violin and piano, he also wrote poetry. Because of this, he was often teased at school, telling him that he was "feminine". But he did not blame them. He became the fear and trembling of the whole of Yugoslavia, and thanks to his romantic nature, he managed to seduce one of the biggest Yugoslav film divas...

Entering the studio of the Yugoslav Radio and Television in 1973, Beneš was shaking like a whip. That nervousness was greater than the one he had right before the iconic match in which he defeated the European champion Gilbert Cohen. The fearless boxer was squinting as he approached the television stage, which was illuminated by strong spotlights. She was standing there. The blonde and blue-eyed diva of Yugoslavian cinema in a long yellow dress.

After the host listed Beneš's sporting successes, Milena Dravić got the chance to speak. She said to him: - Marijan, I heard that you also write verses. – The champion's cheeks are slightly reddened. He stirred. It seemed as if he was preparing for something...

Suddenly, to Milena's surprise, but also to the shock of everyone present, the world-famous boxer began reciting: - Like the early morning dew that shines on the sleeping grass, I caressed your hair and kissed your blond strand. –

Marijan recited the poem in a calm and trembling voice, constantly looking a little at Milena, a little at the audience, and a little at the floor. When he finished, Milena looked at him, smiling from ear to ear. She clapped her hands for joy. She asked everyone gathered: - Is Marijan always this gentle? - Marijan blushed completely at that, and the audience just laughed out loud...

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