Markus Beyer, former super middleweight champ, dies at age 47
Markus Beyer, who held the WBC super middleweight title on three different occasions, has died, it was announced Tuesday. He was 47 years old.
The news was broken by promoters Kalle and Nisse Sauerland, whose father Wilfried Sauerland promoted Beyer during his career. “Too young, too soon,” said the brothers on their Twitter account.
A cause of death wasn’t made public but The Sun reports that he died in a Berlin hospital after a brief illness. He had been retired since 2008 and worked as an on-camera pundit for German TV network MDR since 2015.
“Markus was a dominating force in the super middleweight division during several years,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman tweeted.
Beyer competed at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics representing his native Germany, and earned a bronze at the 1995 World Championships as an amateur. The southpaw fought most of his fights in Germany, but traveled to the UK for his first world title fight, scoring three knockdowns to earn a unanimous decision over Richie Woodhall.
RIP to Markus Beyer, the three-time super middleweight champ who died at age 47 after a brief illness. Here’s his first title win in 1999, when he traveled to UK to drop Richie Woodhall three times in a unanimous decision win. #boxing #ripmarkusbeyer pic.twitter.com/8eYgy5MDUP
— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) December 4, 2018
Woodhall described Beyer as “a great fighter and gentleman” in his tribute to the fallen champ, adding that “any boxer who becomes 3x world champion is very special.”
Beyer made one defense of the belt before losing it the following year, getting stopped in the twelfth round by Glenn Catley at a moment when the scorecards had it a split draw. Three years later Beyer earned a second run with the belt with a split decision over Eric Lucas, and defended the belt twice (including a wild disqualification win over Danny Green) before losing the title on a split decision to Cristian Sanavia.
Beyer avenged that loss by sixth round knockout later that year in 2004, and would defend his title five times, including a majority decision over Danny Green, a unanimous decision over Omar Sheika, and a technical draw against Sakio Bika.
His reign, and essentially his career, would come to an end with a third round knockout loss to Mikkel Kessler in 2006. He’d fight just once more, shutting out Murad Makhmudov over eight rounds in 2008.
He had a record of 35-3-1 (13 knockouts) in 39 fights over twelve years.
Beyer is the second German fan favorite to die this year, following the passing of Graciano Rocchigiani in October.