Inducted on November 11, 1999
Eric Seelig was born July 15, 1909 in Bromberg, Germany. When he was nine years old the famly moved to Berlin and in the pre-Hitler years he became Amateur Middleweight Champion of Germany.
In the early 1930s he turned professional and became Middleweight and Lightweight Champion of Germany.
When Adolph Hitler came to power, Seelig had to flee Germany. He fought fights in France, England and the United States, and defeated numerous World Champions during his career, including Ken Overlin by a 10-round decision and Mickey Walker who he stopped in seven rounds. He also fought and held his own with several other champions, such as Marcel Thil (twice), Billy Conn, . Teddy Yarosz, AI Hostak and World Heavyweight contender Tami Mauriello.
He settled in New Jersey in 1942 on a poultry farm with his wife and son. In 1974, he opened a boxing gym in Atlantic City and was able to produce nine Golden Gloves champions.
He passed away in 1984.
In March 1933, he was ordered by the Nazi government to relinquish his German titles. (The Nazis stripped all Jewish champions of their titles during this time.) The Nazis then ordered Seelig and his parents out of the country. He left Germany for Belgium, France (where the Nazis again made him flee), England, Cuba (briefly), and finally the USA.
Seelig later married Greta in the United States, also an athlete persecuted under Hitler’s rule, as she was prevented from competing in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where she was set to run in the hurdles competition. She, too, had fled Germany. They first lived in New York then moved to Atlantic City. They ran a chicken farm for awhile, then Seelig opened a boxing gym. He died in 1984 (exact date unknown). His wife still survives him as of 2006.
His German titles have never been restored.
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