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Turkish boxer Cem Kilic – who fought on a Tyson Fury undercard – passes away at the age of 29 following lengthy battle with substance addiction and mental health issues

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  • A Turkish super-middleweight prospect has passed away at the age of 29 
  • He won 17 of his 18 professional bouts, and fought on a Tyson Fury undercard
  • Tributes have poured in from the boxing community following his death 

Turkish super-middleweight boxing prospect Cem Kilic has been found dead at the age of 29.

Kilic, who was born in Germany before relocating to Los Angeles, USA, as a teenager to further his career, had been battling with substance addiction and mental health issues in recent years.

According to Boxing Scene, an apparent overdose was the cause of death, and his passing was confirmed by Turkish Boxing Federation president Eyup Gozgec on Friday, who paid tribute to Kilic.

‘We have learned the news of the death of one of our former national boxers,’ Gozgec said.

‘We wish patience to the grieving relatives. Rest in peace.’

Cem Kilic (pictured) was found dead at the age of 29 over the festive period

Cem Kilic (pictured) was found dead at the age of 29 over the festive period

Kilic (left) won 17 of his 18 professional fights, and fought on a Tyson Fury undercard in 2019

Kilic (left) won 17 of his 18 professional fights, and fought on a Tyson Fury undercard in 2019

Kilic fought 18 times as a professional after making his debut in 2014, and lost just once to America’s Steven Nelson – a stablemate of pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford – in January 2020.

That fight came immediately after he beat Martez McGregor on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s win over Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas in 2019.

Kilic finished with a record of 17-1, with 11 wins coming by way of 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.

‘Never thought I would be writing something like this right now,’ Shapiro said. ‘I am in shock. RIP Cem Kilic, the first fighter that took a chance on me, someone who moved from Germany to Los Angeles, lived with me 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 regularly trained out of 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 posted on Instagram following the news of Kilic’s passing.

Kilic regularly trained out of the famous Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, and they paid tribute to him on Instagram

Kilic regularly trained out of the famous Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, and they paid tribute to him on Instagram

‘We so very deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Cem Kilic,’ they wrote.

‘Gone far too soon. Our condolences to the Kilic family and to all those affected by his passing. 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 posted on X.

‘Our prayers go to the family and friends of Turkish fighter Cem Kilic who passed away during this holiday season. May he rest in peace,’ Sulaiman wrote.