Former WBA heavyweight champion Michael Dokes sadly passed away
at his home in Akron, Ohio this morning.
Dokes, who took the title by defeating Mike Weaver in late 1982,
had been battling liver cancer for some time and was aged 54.
The American finished his career in 1997 with an impressive
53-6-2 (34 KOs) record but he will largely be remembered as an
Blessed with skills that many heavyweights can only dream of,
Dokes rose through the ranks in the last 1970s and early 1980s but
his failed to really live up to his full potential because of an
addiction to cocaine.
His crowing moment came at Caesers Palace, Las Vegas in December
1982 when he scored a controversial stoppage over Weaver in just 63
They engaged in a rematch six months later but after 15 tough
rounds the bout was scored a draw.
However, Dokes' title reign came to a juddering halt in his next
defence when South African puncher Gerrie Coetzee knocked him out
in the tenth round. It was a result which Ring Magazine named as
'Upset of the Year' for 1983.
Dokes would remain a heavyweight contender for the best part of
the next decade but his personal problems prevented him from ever
reaching the lofty heights of the sport again.
In 1989 he gave a then undefeated Evander Holyfield a tough
fight before being stopped in the tenth.
His last shot at major honours came in 1993 when undisputed
world heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe wiped him out in just one
Dokes' life hit an all-time low in 1999 when he was jailed for
beating and sexually assaulting his girlfriend. He was released in