Boxing Giant Gerrie Coetzee Dies At 67
He reportedly died due to a sickness.
Gerrie Coetzee, a legendary boxer, has passed away at age 67 from lung cancer in Cape Town.
The “Boksburg Bomber,” a former heavyweight champion who competed against Frank Bruno, was the first African boxer to compete for and win a world heavyweight championship.
His manager, Thinus Strydom, informed News24 on Thursday night that he had passed away from lung cancer at his Cape Town home. According to the news source, Strydom confirmed the death. The manager informed about the demise of the legendary boxer on January 12.
According to News24, “He [Coetzee] died surrounded by his family after receiving his prognosis from doctors following a consultation about a week ago.”
Gerrie participated in competitions in 1974, 1986, 1993, and 1997. He had 40 fights in his career, winning 33 of them by knockout, losing six, and drawing one.
From 1983 to 1984, Gerrie held the WBA heavyweight championship. During that time, he knocked out WBA champion Michael Dokes and former unified heavyweight champion Leon Spinks and drew with future WBC champion Pinklon Thomas.
His match with Michael Dokes created a series of uproar in South Africa as he, a white boxer, became the first African fighter to capture the heavyweight championship. In Richfield, Ohio, in 1983, he defeated American opponent Dokes in the 10th round to capture the WBA belt.
This significant upset was lauded across South Africa despite the country being divided at the time due to apartheid laws enforcing racial segregation.