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Former undisputed boxing champion O'Neil Bell shot to death in street robbery

Former cruiserweight boxing champion O'Neil Bell was shot to death by robbers in an Atlanta neighborhood early Wednesday morning.

Al Bello/Getty Images

O'Neil Bell, one of only two "undisputed" cruiserweight champions in boxing's history, was killed in a Wednesday morning robbery in Atlanta, Georgia. The native of Jamaica was just 40 years old. Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more details on this tragedy, including the vehicle description and the number of suspects.

Atlanta police said Wednesday's robbery appeared to be a motive in the fatal shooting and authorities are seeking the public's help in finding Bell's killers.

Police believe four males may be involved in the shooting. They were also looking for a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser with the Georgia tag TJC685. Police believe the vehicle was stolen Tuesday in East Point and used in a robbery there on Tuesday night. Police released a video of the vehicle and an image of a person seen by witnesses exiting the vehicle.

Bell finished with a record of 27-4-1 (25 KOs) and won the vacant IBF cruiserweight title in 2005 over Canada's Dale Brown. After one successful defense, Bell then KO'd Jean-Marc Mormeck to become the WBA and WBC cruiserweight champion. The WBO wasn't universally recognized by the other major sanctioning bodies at the time, so holding WBA, WBC, and IBF belts gave Bell "undisputed" status, an achievement only ever previously done at cruiserweight by Evander Holyfield in 1988. Bell lost his titles in a rematch with Mormeck, then suffered two more defeats after that. His final fight was in 2011, a 58 second TKO over Rico Cason.

Sadly, this is the 2nd time a former boxing champion was killed in Atlanta. In 2009, ex-welterweight and super welterweight champ Vernon Forrest, who was best known for his two wins over Shane Mosley, was robbed at gunpoint and murdered at a gas station. The three men responsible for Forrest's death were all convicted for their role in the murder, with two sentenced to life in prison and the actual shooter currently is on death row.

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