Former heavyweight champion Michael Dokes dies aged 54

Michael Dokes
Michael Dokes, who won the WBA heavyweight title in 1982, dies from liver cancer aged 54.

Former WBA heavyweight champion Michael Dokes has died of liver cancer, aged 54.

Dokes, who won the heavyweight title against Mike Weaver in December 1982, passed away on Saturday in Akron, Ohio.

Nicknamed 'Dynamite', Dokes fought Evander Holyfield, Donovan 'Razor' Ruddock and Riddick Bowe in a 21-year career.

Dokes had battled with cocaine addiction throughout his career, as well as serving eight years in prison.

The Ohio-born boxer turned professional in 1976 and took the WBA heavyweight title six years later in controversial circumstances after referee Joey Curtis stopped his fight with Mike Weaver in the first round.

Dokes drew the rematch with Weaver and retained the title before relinquishing it to Gerrie Coetzee in September 1983. He would never hold a world championship title again.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2000 after pleading guilty to attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping and intent to commit sexual assault against his girlfriend, and was released in 2008.

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