Boxing giant Gerrie Coetzee has died aged 67 from lung cancer. The former world heavyweight champion, known as ‘The Boksburg Bomber’ was the first boxer from Africa to fight for and win a world heavyweight championship and clashed with fighters including Frank Bruno.
The news of his death was confirmed on Thursday (12.01.23) night to News24 by Gerrie’s manager Thinus Strydom, who the outlet said confirmed he died from lung cancer at his Cape Town home.
“Almost exactly 40 years after his great triumph winning the WBA heavyweight championship by 10th-round KO against Mike Dokes Gerrie Coetzee has died aged 67.” Gerrie competed from 1974 to 1986 and in 1993 and 1997.
News24 added “he had been given his prognosis by doctors around a week ago, upon consultation, and died surrounded by his family”. One online tribute to Gerrie said: “A giant has fallen. The Boksburg Bomberhas succumbed to illness.
Gerrie held the WBA title from 1983 to 1984 and his notable knockout wins included against WBA world heavyweight champion Michael Dokes and former unified world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, as well as a draw with then future WBC world heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas.
He finished his career with 40 fights, 33 wins, six defeats and one draw, with 21 of his victories knockouts. He fought against Britain’s Frank Bruno in 1986 and was knocked out.