Danish great Tom Bogs has passed away after a long illness at the age of 79.

Bogs represented Denmark in the 1964 Olympics and then turned pro with promoter Mogens Palle and that was the beginning of a golden era for Danish boxing.

Not only was Tom able to fight at a world class level, he had the superstar charisma to go with it - and he didn't just pull in fight fans in huge numbers, but he also had the rich and famous come out in droves.

He won the European (back then there was only one) light heavyweight title in 1968 by knocking out German Lothar Stengel in the first round.

Bog's misfortune was that he was a small light heavyweight but a big middleweight. He retained the title by beating Italian Piero Del Papa but then dropped down to middleweight and won the EBU title by beating Carlo Duran. 

In 1970, Tom suffered his first defeat when he lost to the great Emile Griffith but came back with one of his best wins when he beat tough Brit Chris Finnegan.

A world title shot was around the corner and it was well known that the then champ, Nino Benvenuti was getting "soft" after too many late nights in Rome. However, the then known rather unknown Argentinian Carlos Monzon got the title shot and stopped Benvenuti. Bogs, by now, had six years of one tough fight after another and the wear and tear began to show.

When the big chance came in 1972, a fight for the middleweight championship of the world, Tom was over the hill while the great Carlos Monzon was at his peak and he knocked out the Dane in five.

Bogs regained the EBU middleweight title, moved up to light heavyweight and beat the likes of Mike Quarry but the spark was gone and he lost to John Conteh in London and Pierre Fourie in South Africa. After losing to Tom "The Bomb" Bethea in Copenhagen on November 21, 1974 - Bogs announced his retirement with a ledger of 77-8-1, which is a lot of fights in a ten year pro career.

Retirement wasn't easy for Tom Bogs but eventually he settled for a job as a waste collector in Copenhagen where he worked until retiring.

Bogs was married three times and had five kids. He suffered from dementia in his last years and was living in a nursing home.