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R.I.P. Mike Dietrich

March 3, 2010

Mike Dietrich (right) spars with trainer Jake Smith while preparing for a bout in 2007. | Image by Christopher Myers

Baltimore Boxer Mike “The American Dream” Dietrich, who survived a 2005 stabbing to establish a professional record of 12-1, died suddenly yesterday. Details are unavailable so far; a man who answers the phone at Baltimore Boxing and Fitness, the Broadway gym where Dietrich trained, says Dietrich had gone six rounds there the day before in preparation for a scheduled March 20 heavyweight fight against Wes Taylor.

Baltimore County Police spokesman Cpl. Michael Hill says police responded to a home on the unit block of Shipway in Dundalk last night at 5:30, finding Dietrich “in cardiac arrest.” He was pronounced dead at the scene. Dietrich “stays there occasionally” in the basement, Hill says. He had gotten there about 2:30 a.m. the previous morning and was discovered by another adult male who police declined to identify. There was no sign of injury or foul play, Hill says. An autopsy is being performed.

“He was like a son to me,” says Jake Smith, Dietrich’s trainer. “He was with me for 15 years. Used to stay at my house all the time.” Smith said he was waiting for autopsy results and did not want to repeat rumors about what happened. The Dundalk Eagle reports Smith claiming Dietrich had been in a fight the night before he died at the Club Flamingo, where he worked as a bouncer.

Friends and well-wishers began posting remembrances and condolences on Dietrich’s My Space page on Tuesday night, March 2.

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