...was light heavyweight boxing world champion (IBF) from 1993 to 1996 and is one of the most successful and popular international athletes in Germany. Today he works as an entrepreneur and a motivational expert. In addition, he is engaged as the founder of the “Henry Maske Foundation A Place for Kids” for socially disadvantaged children.
BORN ON JANUARY 6, 1964
...in Treuenbrietzen in Brandenburg, Henry Maske started his career in Jüterbog, where he attended his first boxing training at the age of six. He began his career as an amateur athlete in what was then the GDR, where the foundation for his later successes was laid. After he won the GDR championship five times between 1983 and 1988, he became Olympic champion in 1988 and amateur world champion in 1989.
THE BEGINNING OF THE GERMAN REUNIFICATION
...Henry Maske changed to the professional boxing sport. Just three years later, on March 20, 1993, he became world light heavyweight champion by beating Charles Williams on points. He defended this World Champion title ten times in the following years up to 1996, setting a new record: he was the winner in 30 of a total of 31 fights. He lost his last fight against Virgil Hill on November 23, 1996 on points.
“WITH A CLEAR GOAL ON YOUR MIND YOU DON’T FALTER”
HENRY MASKE’S UNIQUE FIGHTING STYLE
Henry Maske’s unmistakable fighting style and his personality made him one of the leading figures of the reunited Germany and boxing a top German sports event for many years. Up to 18 million TV viewers followed his fights in front of the screens. The music titles that will always be associated with his person and his appearances in the ring - "Conquest of Paradise" and "Time to say goodbye" - sold a total of 6 million times.
HENRY MASKE BECOMES “ATHLETE OF THE YEAR” IN 1993
...and voted "Boxer of the Year" in 1995 and 1996; in addition to many other awards, he received the "Bambi" in 1995, the "Golden Lion" in 1995 and 1996 and the "Golden Camera" in 1997.
In 2012, he was awarded the most important German sports award, the “Golden Sports Pyramid” of the German Sports Aid Foundation, for his life's work. Associated with this is his admission to the Hall of Fame of German Sports. In 2013, he was immortalized on the Munich Olympic Walk of Stars. Today he lives with his family near Cologne.
THE HENRY MASKE FOUNDATION
Since the end of his active career, Henry Maske has devoted himself to numerous new tasks. Under the motto "Fair Opportunities for Young People" he founded the Henry Maske Foundation A Place for Kids in June 1999, initially as an association in cooperation with DVJJ e.V. (German Association for Juvenile Courts and Juvenile Court Assistance e.V.). This foundation, based in Berlin, supports socially disadvantaged children and young people across Germany. Material hardship in Germany is a problem that increasingly affects young people and children: More and more children in Germany are living below the poverty line.
The Henry Maske Foundation has therefore set itself the task of supporting practical projects and institutions in which disadvantaged children and young people receive a non-violent and positive living environment in which they can get involved. The goal is to give affected children concrete help in overcoming personal and social problems, to promote their development and to strengthen their personality so that their situation can improve permanently. For this purpose, educational offers, preventive care offers as well as sports and leisure projects are financially and ideally supported.
Since its inception, the foundation has sponsored numerous children and youth projects, including large-scale projects such as a youth home in Gerswalde, Brandenburg, where a learning workshop for disadvantaged young people who are excluded from school was set up and the new construction of a youth centre in Cologne.
The supporters of the Henry Maske Foundation include personalities such as the American actor Denzel Washington, who poured all preview proceeds from his film "Hurricane" into the foundation, and the former Federal Minister of Justice Prof. Dr. Däubler-Gmelin, who opened the first "Henry Maske Festival" in Berlin in November 1999 together with Maske.
Since 2000, Henry Maske has also been active as an entrepreneur in the catering sector. As a licensee of McDonald's, he started the restaurant in the Leverkusen BayArena at the Bayer 04 Leverkusen soccer stadium, which he expanded into a "sports store" with many trophies from top athletes. In 2001, he took over two more McDonald's restaurants in Leverkusen. A fourth restaurant opened in September 2004. In 2008, he took over the franchise for five more restaurants. In December 2010, Henry Maske opened his tenth store in total. After almost 20 years as a franchisee, he sold all his stores on 31.12.2019.
On September 7, 2001, Maske was honoured with the Federal Cross of Merit from Federal President Johannes Rau for his commitment. The award applies to "all role models who have made the lives of others a bit better," said Rau at the award ceremony at Bellevue Palace in Berlin. In 2002 he was awarded the "Georg von Opel Prize" for his commitment as a sportsman with social responsibility. The following year he received the "Thomas Morus Honor Prize" for his social commitment and in 2004 for the second time the "Golden Hen" - this time in the Charity category.
THE RETURN TO THE BOXING RING
After a break from boxing for more than ten years, Henry Maske is back in the ring to settle an open score. In March 2007 he defeated the reigning WBA cruiserweight world champion Virgil Hill, who 10 years earlier had given him the only defeat of his professional career, in a grandiose comeback fight in front of 12,500 spectators in the sold-out Munich Olympic Hall, clearly on points, and thus finally ending his sporting career.
In November 2007 he was awarded the "Bambi" in the "Comeback of the Year" category. In addition, at the beginning of 2008 he received the Medal of Thanks from the City of Dresden and the Medal of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia as a special award for his commitment.