Hard-punching former heavyweight champ Gerrie Coetzee dies at 67

Gerrie Coetzee (left), who defeated Michael Dokes in 1983 for the WBA heavyweight identify, died Thursday in South Africa at 67. (Photograph by means of Getty Pictures)

Gerrie Coetzee, a hard-punching South African who received a proportion of the heavyweight championship in 1983 when he knocked out Michael “Dynamite” Dokes, died Thursday following a brief struggle with most cancers. His daughter, Lana, showed his dying at 67.

Coetzee, who used to be 33-6-1 with 21 knockouts in a occupation that ran from 1974 via 1997, had his occupation spotlight in Richfield, Ohio, on Sept. 23, 1983, when he knocked Dokes out overdue within the tenth around. Coetzee had dropped Dokes within the 5th, after which completed him with two rights within the tenth.

Coetzee mentioned after the struggle he had a hand damage and almost certainly shouldn’t have been in a position to make use of his proper over the overall 5 rounds had the struggle endured. In his occupation, Coetzee underwent a staggering 23 hand surgical procedures.

Coetzee hit a shocked Dokes with back-to-back instantly proper palms. Dokes when down face first after the second one shot, however grabbed a rope. As Coetzee went to a impartial nook, he prayed as referee Tony Perez tolled the rely.

As Dokes struggled to get to his ft, Coetzee mentioned to himself, “It is damaged once more.” As Dokes grabbed on the rope, Coetzee said he prayed, “Please, God, do not let him rise up.” At that degree, he already had had 15 hand surgical procedures and felt he did not have an opportunity in lots of the fights he’d misplaced on account of his a large number of surgical procedures.

Coetzee misplaced the identify to Greg Web page in his first protection on Dec. 1, 1984, and not held the belt once more. However Coetzee had fought many of the giant names of his technology. He debuted handiest six weeks sooner than Muhammad Ali shocked George Foreman to win the identify, and retired in 1997 when Evander Holyfield used to be champion.

Coetzee first fought for the WBA identify in 1979 when he misplaced a 15-round choice to “Large” John Tate. He used to be knocked out within the thirteenth of his 2d bid for the identify by means of Mike Weaver on Oct. 25, 1980. After dropping the identify to Web page, he by no means fought for a global championship once more.

However Coetzee fought lots of the giant names of the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties in an technology loaded with terrific heavyweights. Along with Dokes, Tate, Weaver and Web page, he additionally met former heavyweight champions Leon Spinks, Pinklon Thomas and Frank Bruno in non-title fights.

Coetzee retired after dropping to Bruno in 1986, and used to be out of the game for greater than seven complete years. He got here again in 1993 and had 4 fights, finishing with a TKO loss to Iran Barkley in 1997.

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