Former world champion Markus Beyer, who has been one of boxing's best super middleweights from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, has tragically passed away at the age of 47.
According to MDR, where Beyer has worked since 2015 as an expert on “Sport in the East,” he reportedly died in a hospital in Berlin on December 3, following a “short” and “severe” illness.
“We are upset and mourn the loss of a great athlete and wonderful colleague,” MDR program director Wolf-Dieter Jacobi said. “As a member of the MDR, he has shaped his ‘boxing expertise’ in the past few years. In thought, we are with his family.”
As an amateur, Beyer won 235 fights out of 274 bouts. In 1988, he was the East German featherweight champion and won the Junior European flyweight championship in Gdansk, Poland. The following year, he took 2nd place at the Junior World Championship in Bayamon, Puerto Rico as a featherweight and then fought in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Beyer turned pro in 1996 and after winning his first 16 fights, he got a shot at the WBC super middleweight world title in 1999. Beyer scored three knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision victory over Richie Woodhall. Beyer would lose the title in his second title defense, but would go on to win back the title twice from 2003 to 2006. Beyer's last title fight was a super middleweight title unification against Mikkel Kessler in 2006, a fight that saw Kessler knock out Beyer in the third round.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman took to Twitter to express his condolences over the loss of the multi-time world champion.
.@WBCBoxing regrets to learn the passing away of Markus Beyer at the age of 47. Markus was a dominating force in the super middleweight division during several years. We send our deep condolences to his family and friends and to Sauerland Promotions . RIP pic.twitter.com/y5lk7mU5FH— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) December 4, 2018
The final bout in Beyer's career was a unanimous decision win over Murad Makhmudov. Beyer retired with a 35-3-1 pro record, having fought several top names in the division at the time such as Kessler, Woodhall, Sakio Bika, Danny Green and Cristian Sanavia.