Najai Turpin

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Najai Turpin
Real nameNajai Turpin
BornPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Boxing record
Total fights14
Wins by KO9
No contests0

Najai "Nitro" Turpin (December 19, 1981—February 14, 2005) was a professional boxer born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

He was a contestant on reality TV show The Contender.[1] On the show, he was placed on the East Coast team and pitted himself against Sergio Mora, a man seven inches taller than he was, in the first round.

He committed suicide on February 14, 2005, while sitting in a car with his girlfriend[2] and 2-year-old daughter. The motive for his suicide was not entirely clear. However, the fact that he had not been allowed to fight between the time of his elimination from The Contender and the show's finale (so as not to spoil the ending), along with the low self-esteem that may have resulted from his defeat on the show may have contributed to his suicide. Another contributing factor is considered to be the ongoing custody battle for his daughter.

Turpin was one of many American reality show contestants to take his own life, but there have been examples elsewhere in the world. In 1997, Sinisa Savija, the first person ever voted off Expedition Robinson (the Swedish predecessor to Survivor) killed himself immediately after the episode aired.

Najai Turpin's initials were imprinted on Ishe Oluwa Ali Smith's shorts during a match, and the episode in which Najai fought was dedicated to him.


  1. ^ Paulsen, Wade (15 February 2005). "'The Contender' boxer Najai Turpin commits suicide before the NBC show airs". Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  2. ^ Turner, Miki. "Tragic suicide hits 'The Contender'". ESPN Page 3. ESPN. Retrieved 26 January 2014.

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