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August 13, 2012

Michael Dokes

Heavyweight boxer John Gardner of England begins to fall to the canvas following knockout punch by Michael Dokes of Akron, Ohio, in the fourth round of their scheduled 15-round bout at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, June 12, 1981. (AP Photo)—-

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Michael Dokes died of liver cancer on Saturday night at the age of 54, as first reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Akron Beacon Journal.

Dokes, who turned 54 the day before his death, had been battling cancer for several years before passing away at his family home in Akron, Ohio., reports Boxing Scene.

Nicknamed “Dynamite,” Dokes burst on to the boxing scene when he became theAmateur Athletic Union Heavyweight champion in 1975. He turned professional the 1976 and went on to gain exposure when he fought Muhammad Ali in an exhibition.

Dokes became the World Boxing Association heavyweight champion in 1982 after he defeated Michael Weaver. He lost the title the very next year to Gerrie Coetzee.

He was also quite the showman. Jackie Kallen of Boxing Insider referred to Dokes as “the Dennis Rodman of boxing” for his flashy attire and exuberant personality.

Michael Dokes

According to boxrec.com, Dokes finished his career with an overall record of 53-6-2 with 34 knockouts. He last fought in 1997.

But as powerful as Dokes was in the ring, Dokes had difficulty staying out of trouble with the law. He served two years of probation after his arrest in 1986 in Las Vegas for cocaine trafficking. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping and intent to commit sexual assault. He started a 10-year prison sentence in 2000 and was paroled in 2008.


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