1983-09-23 Gerrie Coetzee w co 10 (15) Michael Dokes, The Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, USA - WBA

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1983-09-23 Gerrie Coetzee w co 10 (15) Michael Dokes, The Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, USA - WBA. Referee: Tony Perez. Boxing with control and efficiency, and following two earlier attempts to become a champion, Coetzee (215) ripped the title away from Dokes (217) in the tenth round after a slow start. Cut over the right eye in the second made Coetzee cautious, but in the fifth he dropped Dokes with a cracking right to the jaw and although the latter fought back well he was hurt again in the seventh. Although Dokes hurt Coetzee in the ninth with a big left hook, the South African was soon back on the attack and was battering the champion around the ring by the end of the session. Coming out for the tenth, Coetzee continued where he had left off and eventually two crunching rights to the head sent Dokes crashing to the floor to be counted out eight seconds after the bell rang to end the round.

After the fight Coetzee’s right hand was found to be broken for the second time in his career and he was forced to have another operation. This put him out of action for several months and after signing for a unification fight against Larry Holmes more bad luck followed when he broke his hand for the third time. Now known as ‘The Bionic Man’ due to the corrective items built in to his right hand, Coetzee would be ready to defend his title against Greg Page in December 1984 after the number-one challenger, David Bey, refused to fight in South Africa.