Boxing: Former world champion Dokes dies from liver cancer, aged 54


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The Independent Online

Former world heavyweight champion Michael Dokes, 54, has died after losing his battle with liver cancer.

The American won the WBA title in 1982 when he stopped defending champion Mike Weaver following a controversial decision by referee Joey Curtis.

However, he relinquished the crown less than a year later, losing to Gerrie Coetzee, and also failed in a 1993 title tilt when he was knocked out by Riddick Bowe in the first round at Madison Square Garden.

He went on to fight Evander Holyfield but never held a world title again. Dokes retired in 1997 with a professional record of 53 wins, six defeats and two draws.

Outside the ring, Dokes was arrested in Las Vegas for cocaine trafficking and served two years' probation in 1986.

He then spent eight years in prison from 2000 after pleading guilty to attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping and intent to commit sexual assault against his girlfriend.