In sad news, it has been reported how David Bey, a top contender and a world heavyweight title challenger in the 1980s, has passed away. According to a report on Action News, Bey died in Camden as result of an industrial accident. Bey, just 60 years old, was working as Pyle driver with local carpenters and he was reportedly hit by a steel sheet Pyle.
An investigation into the accident, that occurred on Wednesday, is currently underway.
Bey, a talented 6’3” heavyweight, turned pro in November of 1981, quite incredibly being matched with, and defeating, future heavyweight champion James “Buster” Douglas, who Bey stopped in just two rounds.
Winning his next 13 bouts, all but two of them by KO – with good wins over the likes of Leroy Caldwell and George Chaplin, along with a USBA title win over Greg Page – Bey earned himself a shot at world champ Larry Holmes (who at the time of the fight, though holding only the IBF belt, was still considered to be THE heavyweight champ).
Holmes, unbeaten at 46-0, had too much for Bey, stopping him via 10th round TKO. Still, Bey had acquitted himself well against an all-time great and he of course fought on. Unfortunately, Bey managed only partial success during the remaining nine years he spent in the ring (Bey having a layoff from April ’87 to February ’90). After losing to Holmes, Bey was stopped by Trevor Berbick, losing his USBA belt, then Bey lost four on the bounce – being decisioned by Bonecrusher Smith and Joe Bugner and being stopped by Johnny Du Plooy and Tyrell Biggs.
The Biggs fight, from March of ’87, proved memorable. Bey opened up a savage cut over the unbeaten Biggs’ eye and was within seconds of winning a sensational TKO; only for Biggs to miraculously turn the fight around and halt Bey in stunning fashion. Losses to Bruce Seldon, Joe Hipp, Zeljko Mavrovic and Derek Williams followed, before Bey went out a winner with a 1994 stoppage of Dave Jaco in China.
Bey’s final record reads 18-11-1(14). He faced seven heavyweight champions.