- A Turkish super-middleweight contender has died at the age of 29
- He won 17 of his 18 professional fights and fought on a Tyson Fury undercard
- Tributes have poured in from the boxing community following his death
Turkish super-middleweight boxer Cem Kilic has been found dead at the age of 29.
Kilic, who was born in Germany before moving to Los Angeles, US, as a teenager to pursue his career, has struggled with substance addiction and mental health issues in recent years.
According to Boxing sceneAn apparent overdose was the cause of death, and his death was confirmed on Friday by Turkish Boxing Federation president Eyup Gozgec, who paid tribute to Kilic.
“We have heard the news of the death of one of our former national boxers,” Gozgec said.
‘We wish the grieving family members patience. Rest in peace.’
Cem Kilic (photo) was found dead over the holidays at the age of 29
Kilic (left) has won 17 of his 18 professional fights and fought on a Tyson Fury undercard in 2019
Kilic fought 18 times as a pro after debuting in 2014, losing just once to American Steven Nelson – a stablemate of pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford – in January 2020.
That fight came immediately after he defeated Martez McGregor on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s victory over Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas in 2019.
Kilic finished with a record of 17-1, with 11 wins via knockout. His last fight took place in August 2022, when he won a unanimous decision against Marco Delgado.
His former manager, Shane Shapiro, paid an emotional tribute after learning of his death, having lived with Kilic when he first moved to the US.
“I never thought I’d be writing something like this now,” Shapiro said. ‘I am shocked. RIP Cem Kilic, the first fighter who took a chance on me, someone who moved from Germany to Los Angeles, lived with me for 7 years and was part of my family. Those who know, know.”
‘Me and Cem were always side by side… we had so many highs and lows and didn’t always see eye to eye, but the memories we made together will never fade. You will always be remembered… RIP “Champ” Cem Kilic. We went to war together.’
Kilic trained regularly at the Wild Card Gym, one of America’s best-known gyms thanks to the rise of Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan under legendary coach Freddie Roach.
The Wild Card was posted on Instagram following the news of Kilic’s death.
Kilic regularly trained at the famous Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, and they paid tribute to him on Instagram
“We are so deeply saddened to hear of Cem Kilic’s passing,” they wrote.
‘Gone way too soon. Our condolences to the Kilic family and to all those affected by his death. Rest in peace, Cem. You will be greatly missed.”
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman also sent his condolences to Kilic’s loved ones in a message on X.
“Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Turkish fighter Cem Kilic who passed away over the holidays. May he rest in peace,” Sulaiman wrote.