Former boxing champion Gary Mason is killed in cycling accident at age 48
Saturday 08 January 2011
Tributes were paid yesterday to the former British heavyweight boxing champion Gary Mason, who was killed in a cycling accident in south London.
Mason, 48, was on his bicycle when he was involved in a collision with a van on Thursday morning. The retired fighter was pronounced dead at the scene in Sandy Lane South, Wallington. A man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and bailed until March pending further inquiries.
Mason's contemporary Frank Bruno, another former world heavyweight champion, said: "I had a lot of respect for the guy. We used to spar together in the early days. Gary was probably a better technical boxer than me, although I had more determination. That's why I made it and he didn't. It was his technical ability that spurred me on to work harder."
In a 38-fight career, Mason lost only once, but it was this defeat that spelt the end of what had been a promising future in the sport. Having spent his early fights in the shadow of Bruno, the unbeaten Mason appeared on the cusp of a world title bout when he took on Lennox Lewis at Wembley Arena in 1991 for the British and European belts. For both men, the fight would be something of a crossroads.
Lewis stopped Mason in the seventh round, confirming his arrival on the world stage and went on to become undisputed champion of the world. Mason sustained further damage to an eye injury he had picked up the previous year, all but ending his career.
He led a varied life after his retirement, with a spell as a pundit for Sky Sports and a brief venture with rugby league side London Broncos.
The promoter Frank Maloney said: "If he was around today he would have dominated the heavyweight division ... but he was around at the wrong time. I'm very sad. It's a great loss, not just to boxing but to life in general.
"He was one of the nice guys of boxing. And he did great work for charity. People don't realise the amount of work he did for charity."
Dave Davies, a sports agent who looked after Mason in the mid-1990s, said: "He was a real character, a south London boy trying to do well. He was a bit of a handful but a great guy."
Mason was separated from the mother of his teenage son, Jordan. A post-mortem examination will be held at St Helier Hospital mortuary and an inquest will be opened at Croydon Coroner's Court.
Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Latest in Sport
Nottingham Forest vs Fulham match report: Britt Assombalonga hat-trick deepens Felix Magath's gloom
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City player ratings: Joe Hart? Thomas Muller? Jerome Boateng? Who was the star man?
Chelsea vs Schalke player ratings: Cesc Fabregas? Didier Drogba? Klaas-Jan Huntelaar? Who was the star man?
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: To work as part of the Le...
£100 - £110 per day + Travel scheme plus free professional trainnig: Randstad ...
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Are you a qualified secondary...
£100 - £110 per day + Travel Scheme plus free professional training: Randstad ...