BREAKING: Former world heavyweight boxing champion passes away aged 67

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Gerrie Coetzee, the South African former WBA heavyweight boxing champion of the world passed away aged 67.

Gerrie Coetzee, the South African former world heavyweight boxing champion passed away today, Thursday, January 12, at the age of 67. His spell at the top of boxing lasted from 1983 until 1984, becoming the African-born heavyweight to ever challenge for – and win – the world title.

In a career that saw two spells, Coetzee boxed from 1974 until 1986, and then made a comeback between 1993 and 1997. In 1986 he was knocked out by the British legend Frank Bruno.

He notched a win over the former WBA world heavyweight champion Michael Dokes, plus an impressive first-round knockout of former unified world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks. The fighter also drew with future WBC world heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas.

Coetzee won the WBA world heavyweight title on 23 September 1983 at the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio, where he knocked out the reigning champion Michael Dokes.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at