Boxers Who Died in 2021

Published 12/28/2021, 2:30 AM EST

Boxing is a very dangerous sport. The amount of stress the fighters put their body and mind through while training and also while fighting in the ring can have harmful effects on their health.


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Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is one of the most common problems boxers face due to repeated blows to their head. In some very rare cases, fighters experience severe brain damage or lose their lives in the ring.


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Today we take a look at the fighters that lost their lives to the sport they love in 2021. We also take a look at former fighters who have lost their lives.

Leon Spinks

Leon Spinks, the man who became an Olympic champion and then stunned the world by dethroning Muhammad Ali, has sadly passed away at the age of 67.

The former champ died on 5th February in Henderson, Nevada. At the time of his death, he was battling Prostate Cancer in hospital.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler 

The towering former middleweight champion, Marvin Hagler, passed away on 13th March 2021 at the age of 66. Hagler’s wife Kay Guarrera announced his death on Facebook.

(Original Caption) New York, New York: Marvin Hagler vs. Mustafa Hamstro Fight. Madison Square Garden, World Middleweight title fight. Hagler won with a knock out in the 3rd round.

Guarrera wrote“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement. Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire. Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.” 

Vasile Belous

The Olympic community went into mourning when the former Olympian, Vasile Belous, passed away at the age of 33. Belous, one of the best fighters the country had ever produced, died in a car crash in Moldova.

Police pronounced him dead at the scene on August 31st this year in the town of Calaraseuca just a few days after his 33rd birthday.

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata

18-year-old Mexican boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata passed away at the hospital after her fight against Marie Pier Houle. Houle caught her with a left uppercut and a right hook that knocked her out.

Her body went into convulsions and medics placed her in a medically induced coma. However, the doctors could not save her as she passed away just five days after her fight.

Taurai Zimunya

Taurai Zimunya passed away because of injuries he sustained during his fight against Tinashe Majoni in Zimbabwe. This marks the first time a boxer has died in Zimbabwe due to match-related injuries.

His death raised a lot of questions about the security of the fighters and the medical attention they receive inside the ring.

Danny Kelly Jr

Danny Kelly Jr., a professional boxer, was shot and killed on Christmas Eve in Maryland.


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Kelly and his family were traveling to an event when the suspect’s vehicle pulled up next to his vehicle and opened fire.


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Allan Binoy

578 articles

Allan Binoy is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Loyola College, Allan fuses his love for literature and the sport of boxing to deliver quality copies about 'The Sweet Science.' Allan is a semi-professional soccer player for Diego Juniors FC.