November 4th has been a heartbreaking day for many in not just Canadian boxing but boxing in general.
Long time trainer/promoter of Jelena Mrdjenovich (amongst others) Milan Lubovac has passed away. Lubovac suffered cardiac arrest in early 2020 has fought for over a year and a half. He was tough in life and he was not going to go down without a fight.
The local boxing community was hit hard by news of Lubovac’s passing. Milan usually had a straight face (at least for mot of the times that I saw him) but when he smiled it grabbed your attention. The two things that made him smile the most (to my knowledge) was his family and boxing and the two were practically the same.
Milan’s death did not just affect those in Canada. Boxing organizations such as the WBC along with several fighters sent condolences to Milan, his daughter Mel and Jelena of course (who was pretty much a daughter to him).
“Today I lost the first man I ever loved, my friend, my business partner and most of all my father. He was the strongest, most stubborn man I knew. We had our ups and downs, but there was never a day that would go by that I didn’t think he would have my back, as I did his. He always made me feel better just by hearing him say the words “don’t worry dad will take care of it”. I miss your calls, your laugh, the way we would bullshit for hours. I miss your hugs, your smell, I even miss the way you would yell at me. There will never be another you dad, definitely one of a kind, and I am proud to be your daughter. Love you always and forever.” – Mel Lubovac
“Today we lost a legend…. Someone who taught me so much, not just about boxing but about life, character, resilience, passion, loyalty, dedication, compassion. I could go on and on about the lessons but if you knew Milan you knew that he was forever a teacher. I will miss his belly laughs, I will miss his lectures, I will even miss him slapping me in the face in the corner, i will miss his phone calls just to say nothing really at all. But most of all I will miss his hugs. Rest In Peace Milan. Thank you for coming into my life and making me family. You made me a better human. There are literally a million pictures I could share but none of them will bring him back. He hated getting his picture taken but I so glad that I am just as stubborn as him and made him do it anyway.” – Jelena Mrdjenovich
“Milan Lubovac you were a great asset to the Boxing community. A legend in Edmonton and Alberta Boxing , known around the Boxing community around the world . Putting on shows , training fighters , working corners with not much in return but to see fighters achieve their dreams and goals and giving His life to the sport for many decades . Mel Lubovac knows I cared for this man and spent many nights and months praying over Him and His family . So sorry for your loss Mel , Jo and Enza! Milan will be greatly missed , he played numerous times very greats lessons , motivational speeches and taught me plenty little tricks to the trade . Thank you Milan , my condolences.” – Kris Andrews
“RIP “Boss” Milan Lubovac. After all these years Coach, all the pre fight reconfirming hugs, all the pre fight pep talks. I can only find a picture of you with one of my girls, how you loved her. If I could tell you how much you meant to me all these years, just to get that slap again in my face after I screwed up in sparring or in a fight, that hug, that look, you always believed in me and all of your athletes. Man I looked up to you, you were the man in one of the manliest sports. This is extremely hard to put in words. My sincerest condolences goes out to all of your family. I love you Coach, RIP.” – Cam O’Connell
“This was Milan,overseer of all edm boxing , there was a soul that just gave everybody that he met that needed something who is first to give it he was. He would win 50/50 never once did he keep it donated it back to the club I could go on and on about how much he gave to the less fortunate but I would be a very long list. He was my friend he was my f o e we laugh together we cried together mostly we laugh I just want to say goodbye to a very generous guy who left this Mark here by getting an eight-time world champion and having two beautiful daughters that made him the proudest but I think the granddaughter what is the fav much love to you my friend old friend I will forever miss you may God rest your soul in peace.” – John Mendonca
“To the man who gave everything while expecting nothing in return. Who had your back more than you had your own. Thank you for the endless stories, laughter, wisdom, mentorship and coaching. I am forever grateful for everything. There will never be another like him. R.I.P MilanLeft hand 1st.” – Robbie Cusine
“The boxing world lost a legend today. Thank you for all the wonderful memories throughout the years. From being a teenager having you in my corner was a blessing. All the road trips and memories that came with it I will forever hold in my heart. Everyone has a Milan story they will cherish. I miss those days when he would be in the gym sitting in the corner chair with his small coffee and talk boxing. He can share those stories with the other greats up there now. Rest in peace coach Milan.” – Stan Surmacz
“Sorry to hear this, he is an awesome man and I always enjoyed seeing him and chatting at the fights. Will definitely miss him.” – Lee Mein
“Condolences. He did so much for boxing and us kids at cougar growing up there when I started boxing.” – Blake Anderson
“So sorry. He was a great man.” – Melissa Hernandez
“My deepest condolences Mel . Amazing dads are definitely rare! Sorry to hear. He did so much for everyone & in the boxing community. May he Rest In Peace.” – Vanessa Bradford
Rest In Peace Milan.