Former heavyweight Sinan Samil Sam died Friday morning in his native Turkey from liver failure at the age of 41.
6-foot-3inch Sam was an outstanding amateur, winning the super heavyweight title at the 1999 World Championships in Houston, Texas before turning pro the following year.
Sam signed with Turkish promoter Ahmet Oner of Arena boxing and boxed out of Germany, winning his first 18 fights, including knockouts of fringe contenders Przemyslaw Saleta and Danny Williams. He suffered his first loss in 2003, dropping a decision to Juan Carlos Gomez on HBO’s “Night of the Young Heavyweights” in Buffalo, N.Y.
Sam was a highly respected durable fringe contender for the next few years, defeating Decent opposition, Lawrence Clay Bey and Denis Bakhtov while losing to Luan Krasniqi, Oleg Maskaev and Oliver McCall.
Sam retired in 2008 with a record of 31-4, 16 knockouts, after winning the European heavyweight title for a second time.
Sam was hospitalized in intensive care in 2010 with liver failure after vomiting blood due to excessive alcohol consumption, Sam was rushed to hospital last week with suspected liver failure.. 41 is far too young to go, he was a folk hero in his native Turkey and was affectionately known as The bull of the Bosporus..