The Dutch Connection

Rinze, min gamle vän från Arnhem i Nederländerna, meddelar att den fine boxaren från Utrecht, Josephus "Joop" Verbon har avlidit i en ålder av 72 år. Joop tillhörde den holländska eliten under 1960-talet och blev nationell mästare tre gånger, 1963-64-66. Han var uttagen till OS i Tokyo 1964, men av någon anledning blev det inget deltagande. Han besegrade vår svenske stilboxare Stig Waltersson i en landskamp i Göteborg 1963 på delat domslut. Verbon mindes matchen, "The Swede was a very good boxer, fine technique and tactics with a good long left /.../ Waltersson was a good sport, a gentleman also after the verdict". Joop gjorde en proffssatsning med början 1966 och han gick sin sista match 1975. De sista åren av sitt liv ägnade han åt vård av sin sjukliga hustru. Han beskrivs som en lågmäld och sympatisk person.

Citatet kommer från boken om Stig Waltersson s. 51.

Fina minnesord av Rinze van der Meer:

"Joop came from a family of 15 children. There were 5 brothers who boxed.

His biggest inspiration was his older brother Theo. Theo Verbon died quite a few years ago, as a victim to cancer, but up untill the end, when he was already a very sick and weak man, he still visited an evening of amateur boxing. After school Joop worked as a maintainance mechanic, then he changed and worked for 40 years for a compagny laboratorium glaswork. Innitialy in the production and later as a salesman.

When his children (his oldest son Danny had died) all had left to live on their own, Joop had himself and his wife Carla (they met when he was 19 and she was 15) build a sommer holiday home in France on the coast of Bretagne.

No need to tell you that the children and grand children were regular visiters.

In 1975 Joop started his own Boxing Club: Utrechtse Boks Vereniging Joop Verbon.

It turned out to be a cradle for many good and solid amateurs at national level.

In 2000 he turned over the club to his oldest son Ingmar.

Joop had to dedicate his life 24/7 to his wife, who was very ill and who died after a long sickbed. It took too much out of him. Joop was a very modiest man, who didn’t seek the flash lights.

He really enjoyed the fact that he was remembered as an opponent of Stig Waltherson in Sweden.

Looking at his professional record tells you a few things.

He didn’t get to international level.

The reason is very simple: his manager Theo Huizenaar dominated boxing as a promotor, matchmaker, manager etc. untill the 50ies. but Huizenaar lost out on the younger, more adventurous Henk Ruhling. With the help of Ruhling, who was a partner of a.o Umberto Branchini, Gilbert Benaim and Edwin Alquist, Joop could have had more chance to move up and get some solid paydays, but Joop was very loyal.

More or less outmanouvered on the big scene, Joop suffered a few badly matched fights and also had a few ‘home townlosses’, abroad but also at home .......

A few days after the funeral of Joop, his son Ingmar suffered a heartattack".

Christer Franzén