By James Slater: In sad news today, former WBA heavyweight champ Mike “Dynamite” Dokes, who had been battling stomach and liver cancer, passed away a few hours ago. The former Olympian was just 54-years-old.
Dokes, who ruled for only a short time in the “lost generation” of the early 1980’s heavyweight division, will never be remembered as a great, but he nevertheless fought everyone put in front of him, and Dokes gave the sport some memorable bouts.
Facing Mike Weaver for the WBA belt, Dokes won in a controversial 63 seconds in 1982. A grueling 15-round draw with “Hercules” saw Dokes retain his belt for the one and only time. By the time of his fight with Gerrie Coetzee, Dokes was addicted to cocaine and he was badly beaten up and stopped in the 10th round in 1983.
Dokes was never really the same again, although he fought on, off and on, until 1997. In 1989,after getting himself clean and sober and working his way back into contention, Dokes fought former cruiserweight king Evander Holyfield, the ten-round war which “The Real Deal” won by TKO being recognized as a classic.
A stunning and brutal KO at the hands of Razor Ruddock in 1990 should have prompted the veteran to retire, yet Dokes soldiered on and somehow found himself challenging unbeaten heavyweight king Riddick Bowe in 1993. A potbellied Dokes failed to last a round.
Finally, after back-to-back losses at the hands of Lois Monaco and Paul Phillips, Dokes quit the game with a 53-6-2(34) record in 1997.
Later serving time, Dokes’ retirement years were not kind to him. Pretty much forgotten, the former amateur star who had so much natural talent then fell ill with the cancer he was unable to recover from.
Our thoughts go out to Dokes’ friends and family at this time.