Former boxing heavyweight champion Gerrie Coetzee dead at 67

South African boxer Gerrie Coetzee passed away following a brief illness.

Coetzee competed in the heavyweight division and famously won the heavyweight title after he defeated Michael Dokes in 1983. This effectively made him the first South African to hold the heavyweight boxing title.

Coetzee is also remembered for a memorable war with Frank Bruno in London – three years later with Bruno scoring a first round KO victory.

For much of his career, he was also known as the ‘The Boksburg Bomber’. He finished his professional career with a record consisting of 33 wins 6 losses and 1 draw.

He took a break from boxing in 1986 but went on to have another bout in 1993 and two more in 1997.

Coetzee died after a battle with cancer.

South African rugby writer Brendan Nel wrote: “Gerrie Coetzee. A memory from my childhood. 3am get up to watch him box. World heavyweight champ gone. RIP.” @JasonSmith_1 added: “Gerrie Coetzee was a great fighter. Loved watching his fights growing up. RIP Champ.”

A number of boxing insiders is mourning Coetzee’s passing.