Mark Potter tragically passes away aged 47
British heavyweight boxer Mark Potter (21-5, 14KO) has sadly died following a long battle with stomach cancer.
East Londoner, Potter, who fought to a 26-fight pro record, passed away yesterday, on Sunday, November 20, 2022.
The boxing world has come together to mourn the man known as ‘The Great White Shark’, who was just 47 at the time of death.
Potter – perhaps most famous for his incredible fight with Danny Williams, who managed to fight through the pain of a dislocated shoulder to KO Potter in a British and Commonwealth title fight showdown in October of 2000 – was given less than 18 months to live in March of this year.
He was also well known for the heartwarming clip of his exhibition bout against a boxer with Down Syndrome, which went viral on social media. Potter gave the Danny Mardell an unforgettable night by sharing the ring with him and ultimately losing on points after being knocked down several times in the process. Mark said of his act of pure kindness, “I wanted to make one lad smile, so humbled by people's responses and appreciation.”
Born in Rush Green, London, Potter turned pro in 1997 and fought against Joe Bugner Jr. in his pro debut, son of the 1970s heavyweight who fought Muhammad Ali.
During his six-year career, Mark clocked up 21 victories from 26 bouts. He won the Southern Area heavyweight title in 2000, defeating Danny Watts in the sixth round at the York Hall. Sadly, Danny Watts died over four years ago now, which was another tragedy to rock the boxing world.
He challenged, unsuccessfully, for the British and Commonwealth titles, and his final fight was with Michael Sprott for the Southern Area title in March 2003, which Potter lost in the third round.
Trained by the late Dean Powell, Potter was stopped just three times in five defeats, and he was a real fan favorite. Upon being diagnosed with the stomach cancer that ultimately spread to his spine, Potter fought harder than ever, launching a fund-raiser, which raised funds to the tune of £33,000, with Mark spending a good deal of his final days in the gym.
Frank Warren and fellow former pro Audley Harrison led with affectionate tributes:
Audley Harrison: “Sorry to read this, RIP Mark & condolences to his family & friends – he gave me a hella battle in the London ABA’s & went on to have a decent pro career, too – looking back, a lot of boxers have passed in the last few years. Definitely makes you appreciate our time here.”
Frank Warren: “Mark was a great fighter and an even bigger character who was involved in many entertaining fights over the years and was a hugely popular face around the fight scene, particularly in the London area. Mark fought some great fights during his career and was as brave as they come, but sadly he succumbed to one opponent that abides by and respects no rules at all.”
Wayne Alexander: “This man always had a friendly smile on his face and was easy to talk to, I'll never forget how close he came to almost defeating my good freind Danny Williams in a British title fight. RIP Mark Potter.”
Alex Arthur: “Devastated to hear my big pal Mark Potter lost his battle today. I'll never forget our laughs together and our long conversations. I'll miss you mate. May God bless you with a great room in heaven champ. Your fav Scott #AAA.”
BBBofC: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of former British heavyweight title challenger, Mark Potter. Our sincerest sympathy and condolences are sent to his family at this time.”
Boxing News: “We are deeply saddened t o learn of the passing of former British heavyweight title challenger Mark Potter after a tragic battle with cancer. Rest in peace, champ.”
Martin Power: “A friend and true warrior til the very end, RIP Mark Potter.”
Eddie Hearn: “Rest in peace Mark Potter.”
BBN would also like to express out deepest condolences to all of Mark's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.