Legendary Boxing Coach Chris Martin Dies Unexpectedly At 59: REPORT

Chris Martin, a respected boxing coach all across the world and one of New Zealand’s greatest, has suddenly died. He was 59.

Martin reportedly passed away after suffering a heart attack Monday, according to Stuff. In 2011, Martin worked with David Tua when he made a comeback to the ring in bouts taking on Monte Barrett and Demetrice King. Recently, he was a cornerman for Joseph Parker — a former world heavyweight champion.

Martin trained several famous Kiwi boxers, including Marcus Haywood, Steven Heremaia, Soulan Pownceby, Daniella Smith and Nik Charamlampous, who wrote on Facebook: “My friend. My heart is broken.”

The boxing legend was also in high demand as a cornerman for overseas boxers who had fights in New Zealand.

Martin was recently in Melbourne, Australia, helping Parker prepare for his match against Faiga “Django” Opel.

“He was a wonderful part of the camp in Joseph’s last fight – he dropped everything to come and help at late notice and was a great addition to the team,” Parker’s manager David Higgins said via Stuff. “Everyone loved having him around. I’m shocked.”

Mark Keddell, a boxing promoter, said he spoke to Martin the morning of his death.

“Chris was a really good guy, and we would talk a lot on the phone early in the morning — he was always up before 7am.” (RELATED: Cricket Star Dave Orange Dies Unexpectedly At 38)

“Chris was a good man for New Zealand boxing,” said former promoter Mick Watson. “He was a staple of New Zealand boxing for so many years, although he trained many prominent fighters he should be equally remembered for his contribution to developing young boxers and corporate fighters. What a very sad day for New Zealand boxing.”