Former two division world champion Graciano "Rocky" Rocchigiani died on Tuesday in Italy after being hit by a car.
According to Bild newspaper, Rocchigiani was walking as a pedestrian in Italy when he was run over by a car and killed.
The 54-year-old won the IBF super middleweight championship title in 1988 and 10-years later secured the WBC light-heavyweight title. Born to an Italian metalworker in Germany,"Rocky" won 41 times in 48 professional matches. Nineteen wins were by KO.
Bild reported that the German boxing legend had an Italian girlfriend with whom he had two children, and that he had regularly traveled between the two countries.
In recent years Rocchigiani worked as a boxing commentator and coach.
promoter Kalle Sauerland of Sauerland Event told Bild he was 'speechless'.
"He was our first world champion. I grew up with him, so to speak. He was a wild guy with a big heart," he said.
“Berlin mourns one of its athletes, who in the 1980s and 1990s fascinated the crowds,” said Berlin mayor Michael Mueller in a statement.
“Rocky, as he was known around the world, was not only after Max Schmeling and Eckhard Dagge the third German world champion in the professional sport.
“He was also an original Berliner, who combined his mouth and his heart. Not everything worked out for him in life as it did in the ring. But Berliners loved him for his sometimes rough and edgy ways. We mourn a boxer with a big heart.”