23 September 1983
On 23 September 1983, Gerrie Coetzee, went up against American Michael Dokes in Cleveland, Ohio for the World Boxing Association (WBA) heavy weight title. It was Coetzee’s third attempt at a world title after his two previous attempts ended in defeat. It was a highly anticipated match, as the boxing world and Coetzee’s fans watched in bated breath to see if the third attempt would finally earn Coetzee the big one. Coetzee won the match by knock out in the tenth, and went from the boxer known as ‘the one who couldn’t win the big one’ to South Africa’s first world heavyweight champion. However, his reign was short-lived as he lost his title in his first defence to Greg Page in 1984. Coetzee had been plagued by arm injuries, and had several surgeries in both his arms throughout his boxing career. One of his weak points was his lack of stamina. If he couldn’t knockout an opponent in the early rounds of the match, he would often tire in the later rounds and this would lead to a loss on his part. Coetzee retired from boxing in 1993. His record stands at 66 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw.

Jackson Ron,  25th anniversary’, from Gerrie Coetzee website: Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion [online], Available at www.gerriecoetzee.com  [Accessed on 20 September 2013]|SouthAfrica.info, South Africa's boxing champs, [online], Available at www.southafrica.info [Accessed: 20 September 2013]