It's a dangerous sport, so it's no wonder that there are plenty of boxers who were killed in the ring. This is a list of famous people who died while boxing, including photos, birth dates, professions, and other information. These celebrities who died during boxing matches are ranked loosely by fame and notoriety, and include the famous boxing victims’ hometown and biographical info about them when available. Make sure to also check out pro athletes who died young and wrestlers who had early deaths.
Boxing fatalities have resulted in many casualties who either died in the ring or was pronounced dead after.
From Ed Sanders to Frankie Campbell, boxers killed in the ring were forced to die with a captivated audience cheering on their fight. These notable boxing deaths include modern and long-gone famous men and women, from politicians to religious leaders to writers. Everyone on this list has died while boxing as a cause of death somewhere in their public records, even if it was just one contributing factor for their death. Not everyone dies while getting pummeled by a professional, but sometimes even the best boxers couldn't avoid a life-ending blow. If you're thinking about becoming a boxer, this list of boxer deaths may just make you think twice.
Ed Sanders was an Olympic boxing champion who won the gold medal in the 1952 games. Sanders died on December 12, 1954 after going 11 rounds with Willie James. He had complained about headaches earlier in the day and was knocked unconscious during the fight. Many doctors believed that Sanders enhanced a previous injury during the James fight.
Hayes Edward "Big Ed" Sanders was an Olympic champion boxer. He was born in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, to Hays Sanders, a municipal garbage worker, and Eva Sanders. ...more
Age: Died at 24 (1930-1954)
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Profession: Professional Boxersee more on Ed Sanders
Benny "the Kid" Paret was a Cuban welterweight boxer who had a record of 35 wins, 12 losses and 3 ties. On March 24, 1962, Paret went 12 rounds against Emile Griffith. The fight ended when Paret went into a coma after being punched 29 consecutive times. He died in the hospital 10 days later. The fight was televised live on ABC.
Benny "the Kid" Paret, was born as Bernardo Paret in Santa Clara, Cuba. He was a Cuban welterweight boxer who won the world welterweight title twice in the early 1960s. He also vied for the world middleweight championship. Paret's death was due to injuries sustained in a title defense against Emile ...more
Age: Died at 25 (1937-1962)
Birthplace: Santa Clara, Cuba
Profession: Professional Boxer
#47 on The Best Boxers of the 1960ssee more on Benny Paret
Leavander Johnson was an American Lightweight boxer who had a record of 34 wins, 5 losses, 2 ties. On September 17, 2005, Johnson fought Jesús Chávez to defend his IBF crown. The fight was stopped in the 11th round after Johnson received a series of punches from Chávez.
He later collapsed in his locker room and was rushed to the hospital. He had emergency surgery and was placed in a drug-induced coma, but Johnson died as the result of his injuries on September 22, 2005.
Leavander Johnson was an American lightweight boxer from Atlantic City, New Jersey, who once held the International Boxing Federation version of the world title. He won the title on June 17, 2005, against the Italian fighter Stefano Zoff, winning after the referee stopped the fight in the seventh ...more
Age: Died at 36 (1969-2005)
Birthplace: Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States of America
Profession: Professional Boxersee more on Leavander Johnson
Davey Moore was an American featherweight boxer who had a record of 59 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw. On March 21, 1963, Moore hit the base of his neck on the bottom rope in the ring after being repeatedly hit by his opponent Sugar Ramos. Moore finished the fight and even conducted interview later in the evening, but he later died from is injuries.
David S. "Davey" Moore was an American world featherweight champion boxer who fought professionally 1953–1963. A resident of Springfield, Ohio, Moore was one of two champions to share the name in the second half of the 20th century. The second, Davey Moore boxed during the 1980s. The first Moore ...more
Age: Died at 30 (1933-1963)
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States of America
Profession: Professional Boxer
Also Rankedsee more on Davey Moore
Simon Byrne was an Irish boxer who was a heavyweight champion. He died on June 2, 1833, after going 99 rounds against James Burke three days earlier. Burke later went on trial for manslaughter, but he was found not guilty.
Simon Byrne, nicknamed "The Emerald Gem", was an Irish bare-knuckle prize fighter. The heavyweight boxing champion of Ireland, he was drawn to England by the larger sums of prize money on offer and his hopes of becoming the heavyweight champion there as well. He became one of only six fighters ever ...more
Age: Died at 27 (1806-1833)
Profession: Professional Boxersee more on Simon Byrne
Pedro Alcázar was a Panamanian super flyweight boxer who had a record of 25 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw. On June 22, 2002, Alcázar lost a title fight against Fernando Montiel. He received a good health report after the fight and he reportedly felt fine. Two days later he collapsed in his hotel room and later died at the hospital. His case caused major concerns about safety in the boxing industry.
Guillermo Gonzalez, better known as Pedro "El Rockero" Alcázar was a Panamanian boxer who won the WBO Super flyweight championship, and then sustained fatal injuries in the ring. ...more
Age: Died at 27 (1975-2002)
Profession: Professional Boxersee more on Pedro Alcázar
Robert Wangila was a Kenyan welterweight boxer who took home the Olympic gold metal in 1988. He died on July 24, 1994, due to injuries which he sustained two days earlier in a fight against David Gonzales.
Robert Napunyi Wangila was a Kenyan boxer who won a welterweight gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games. He is still the only Kenyan Olympic gold medal winner outside athletics and the only boxer from Sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa to have won Olympic gold. ...more
Age: Died at 27 (1967-1994)
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenyasee more on Robert Wangila
Duk Koo Kim was a Korean Lightweight boxer who had a record of 17 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw. On November 13, 1982, Kim went 14 rounds against Ray Mancini before the referee stopped the fight, declaring Mancini the winner by TKO. He slipped into a coma after the fight was over and died in the hospital four days later.
Kim Duk-Koo was a South Korean boxer who died following a world championship boxing match against Ray Mancini. His death sparked a number of reforms in the sport aimed to better protect the health of fighters, including reducing the number of rounds in championship bouts from 15 to 12. ...more
Age: Died at 23 (1959-1982)
Birthplace: Goseong County, Gangwonsee more on Duk Koo Kim