Stephen Tangstad is dead

Stephen Tangstad is dead

One of Norway's best male boxers of all time has died. Stephen Tangstad was 65 years old.

2011: This photo of Steven Tangstad was taken at his home in Tonsberg 25 years after his World Cup match against Michaels Spinks. Photo: Bjorn S. Dilipik/VG

He is survived by his sons Trolls and Otto.

“Our father Stephen slept peacefully last night with me and Otto at the bedside after a long illness. It is painful and sad. But he slept peacefully and without pain,” writes son Trulls on behalf of the brothers to VG and continues:

“He experienced so much in his life and was a proud grandfather to two grandchildren. We will all miss him dearly and have countless fond memories of our lives with him. We appreciate your privacy and our grieving process.”

Stephen Tangstad turned 65 last Saturday. He became a two-time European heavyweight boxing champion.

But what really set off a boxing fever in Norway was when he fought in 1986 in Las Vegas against heavyweight champion Michael Spinks.

No Norwegian had ever boxed for the world heavyweight title, and in the weeks leading up to the confrontation, the Norwegian press spent enormous resources on the event.

In the match itself, Tangstad opened the match well, but had problems against the more experienced Spinks. In the fourth round, Tangstad stated the following to ring judge Richard Steele after a knockdown:

I had enough».

The fight was stopped and Spinks won by technical knockout in the Norwegian's last fight.

Spinks also lost the title to a completely unknown Mike Tyson two years after his win over Tangstad.

Read also: The “unnatural champion” who infected Norway with boxing fever

Tyson played one of the warm-up matches in the conference as Spinks defended his world title against Tangstad.

Steven Tangstad said in 2018 that he developed neuropathy and lost a lot of strength in his arms and legs.

– I have no problems at all with the boxing career itself. It was a tough six years with 28 fights and a lot of good memories. The EC fights and the heavyweight fight against Michael Spinks were of course very good experiences, Tangstad told VG at the time.

from the archive: 30 years ago, Stephen Tangstad met Michael Spinks in Las Vegas.

The health problems worsened when, in 2019, he had to amputate his left leg from the knee down. Tangstad has also been open about his struggle with depression for many years.

On the occasion of his 60th birthday, in June 2019, he appeared in an interview with VG. A bust of him was also unveiled outside the Klubben Hotel in Tonsberg on the occasion of Christmas.

– I think it's strange. That's all I can say. But I'm flattered, of course. Very proud. It will stay there. “I think that's almost untrue,” Steven Tungstad told VG.

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Former professional boxers Steven Tungstad and Ingrid Beatty Thompson during “Shall We Dance” in 2006. Photo: Cornelius Bobby/NTB

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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