David Bey, a former world heavyweight title contender who fought Larry Holmes, tragically passed away due to a construction accident gone awry. He was 60 years old.
Earlier this week, Bey was struck by a piece of metal while working on a mixed-use real estate development project in Camden, New Jersey fatally wounding Bey, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHO).
A representative from his union, Local 179 of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, said Bey was a second-generation pile driver who had worked 37 years in the trade. Tony Bianchini, the union's communications director, commented on Bey's passing and said he was an extremely pleasant man who was deeply entrenched in religion.
"David was a gentleman at all times. He didn't have a mean bone in his body. He was a devout man of God and regularly would listen to scriptures on the radio," Bianchini said.
Bey, also known as “Hand Grenade,” was inducted into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame earlier this year. Bey won the United States Boxing Assocation heavyweight title when he defeated Greg Page in 1984, three years after he made his professional debut in 1981.
The win catapulted him into a major title fight against legendary heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. Bey and Holmes fought for the IBF heavyweight title in 1985, but Bey lost to Holmes via TKO in the 10th round. Bey's pro career ended in 1994 and retired with an 18-11-1 record. Bey also holds a win over former world heavyweight champion James "Buster" Douglas.
Bey was an outstanding amateur boxer who had taken up the sport to lose weight and eventually competed on the U.S. All-Army Boxing Team.
Bey is survived by his daughter, Leah Batie, and his granchildren, Kiyen and Bryson.