The former heavyweight boxer who held the USBA title, and challenged Larry Holmes for the world title in 1985,David Bey is dead.
The Philadelphia native died last week after an industrial accident in South Jersey after he was fatally struck by a piece of metal Thursday while working on Camden’s Waterfront, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A representative from his union said Bey was a second-generation pile driver who had worked 37 years in the trade.
“David was a gentleman at all times. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was a devout man of God and regularly would listen to scriptures on the radio,” said Tony Bianchini, the union’s communications director.
According to 6abc.com, he was employed by AP Construction working as Pyle driver with local carpenters and he was reportedly hit by a steel sheet Pyle.
Nicknamed “Hand Grenade,” Bey started boxing in the Army. He made his professional boxing debut in 1981 and he went on to defeat Greg Page in 1984 for the United States Boxing Association’s heavyweight championship.
He was beaten by a technical knockout after going ten rounds with Holmes for the International Boxing Federation title in 1985.
He had a career mark of 18-11-1 but he had many highlights. On March 15, 1985, he was sporting a 14-0 mark when he challenged Holmes for the International Boxing Federation championship at the Riviera in Las Vegas. Holmes, from Easton, entered the bout 46-0.
An investigation by OSHA into the accident, that occurred on thursday, is currently underway.