Former champion Michael Dokes lost his battle with cancer earlier today, he just two days prior turned 54 years of age. Dokes is famous in the boxing world for his stellar pro career, which included winning the WBA Heavyweight Championship in 1982 by first round knock out of Mike Weaver.
He’s also well known for a phenomenal amateur career. His amateur feats included advancing to the 1974 Golden Gloves Final (loss to Bobby Stewart) and National AAU Final (Loss to Leon Spinks), at the tender age of 15. The following year he was a silver medalist at the Pan American Games.
Dokes first developed a name for himself during a 1977 Exhibition match with Muhammad Ali. Ali mostly toyed with the young Dokes, but Dokes showed enough promise to raise eyebrows.
Michael Dokes compiled a 53-6-2 professional record, two of those defeats coming in a last ditch comeback when he was already pushing 40. He suffered three tough TKO defeats to Evander Holyfield (1989), Razor Ruddock (1990), and Riddick Bowe (1993). His TKO loss to Evander Holyfield in 1989 is a classic and was voted Heavyweight Fight of the 80′s by Ring Magazine. Dokes also won Comeback Fighter of the Year honors in 1988 from Ring Magazine.
Unfortunately, Dokes may be known more for what he did outside of the ring following his career. In 2000, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for beating and sexually assaulting his live-in-girlfriend. He also battled with drug addiction.
Below is part 1 of his classic battle with Evander Holyfield in 1989. Enjoy.