The following is a list of famous boxers who died in 2013. All of these boxers made headlines when they passed away, though not all of the fighters were professionals.
Many of these deaths were tragic, and most of these boxers died at relatively young ages. The list includes a number of boxing champions, including one of the few fighters who ever beat Mohamed Ali in the ring.
Famous boxers who died in 2013
Former heavyweight champion of the world and boxing great Ken Norton died on September 18, 2013, at age 70 after a long illness in which he suffered many strokes. Ken Norton had a 42-7-1 record as a professional boxer, and he won 33 of his fights by knockout.
Ken Norton is probably best remembered as one of the few boxers (one of just five) to ever beat Mohamed Ali, and for breaking Mohamed Ali's jaw. Norton beat Ali on March 31, 1973, in a 12 round decision, having broken Mohamed Ali's jaw in the 11th round.
At the time, Ken Norton was just the second boxer to ever beat Mohamed Ali (Joe Frazier was the first). Mohamed Ali would subsequently beat Ken Norton the next two times the pair fought by split decisions. Ken Norton's son, Ken Norton, Jr., was a linebacker in the NFL for 13 years, and he won three Super Bowls.
Tommy Morrison, who was a WBO heavyweight champion with a professional record of 48-3-1 with 44 KO's, died on September 1, 2013, from a blood infection at age 44. Tommy Morrison famously tested positive for HIV before a fight in 1996, which basically ended his boxing career.
Tommy Morrison always denied that he had HIV, and his official death certificate listed his cause of death as cardiac arrest caused by complications from a blood infection, but makes no mention of AIDS or HIV, though his own mother said he had AIDS. Tommy Morrison starred in "Rocky V" alongside Sylvester Stallone.
Former middleweight and welterweight champion of the world Emile Griffith died on July 23, 2013, from dementia complications at age 75. Emile Griffith is best known as a boxer for knocking out Cuban boxer Benny Paret in a fight in 1962. Paret never regained consciousness, and died 10 days after the fight.
Prior to that fight, Benny Paret had called Emile Griffith a gay-slur at the weigh-in, which infuriated Griffith. The fatal blows to Benny Paret, which shocked the boxing world at the time, came in the 12th round of the fight.
- Alexis Urbina
Seventeen year old national youth boxing champion and Olympic hopeful Alexis Urbina from Phoenix, Arizona was beaten to death during an attempted home robbery on November 12, 2013.
- Tony Martin
Retired welterweight boxing champion Tony Martin, who had a record of 34-6-1, was shot to death at age 52 in Philadelphia on March 10, 2013, when he tried to evict a tenant from his rooming house because the tenant had a gun.
- Jeremiah Moen
Amateur boxer Jeremiah Moen from North Dakota died on February 20, 2013, from a seizure he suffered between rounds of a bout fought on February 16, 2013, at age 29. It was later determined that Moen had suffered serious brain trauma from previous boxing matches.
- Frankie Leal
Mexican boxer Frankie Leal, who had a 20-8-3 record, died on October 23, 2013, from injuries he suffered when he was knocked out in a fight on October 20, 2013. Frankie Leal was 26 years old.
- Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala
South African boxer and Nelson Mandela favorite Baby Jake Matlala died on December 7, 2013, from pneumonia complications at age 51. Jacob Matlala was just 4' 10" tall, but he was a four-time world boxing champion in the flyweight and junior flyweight divisions, and he once gave one of his championship belts to Nelson Mandela.