Michael Dokes was an American boxer who rose to fame as the world heavyweight champion in 1982. He passed away on August 11, 2012, at the age of 54 after battling liver cancer in Akron, Ohio.
Dokes was born on August 10, 1958, in Akron, Ohio. He started boxing as a teenager, winning the national amateur heavyweight titles in the AAU and Golden Gloves tournaments. In 1977, at the age of 18, he fought the legendary Muhammad Ali in an exhibition match in Miami.
In 1982, Dokes won the World Boxing Association heavyweight crown by defeating Mike Weaver with a technical knockout in just over a minute in Las Vegas. However, his reign was short-lived as he lost the title nine months later to Gerrie Coetzee. He later admitted to using cocaine less than 48 hours before the fight and was convicted of drug possession and trafficking multiple times.
Dokes had a rollercoaster career with notable fights against the likes of Evander Holyfield among others. His fight with Holyfield in 1989 was named the best heavyweight battle of the 1980s by Ring magazine. Holyfield also praised Dokes for his swift hands.
Dokes had a professional record of 53-6-2 with 34 knockouts. Despite his success in the ring, his personal life was troubled, with several legal and drug-related issues. In 1997, he retired from boxing and faced legal trouble in 1999 when he was convicted of attempted murder for beating his live-in girlfriend.
Dokes passed away in 2012, leaving behind a legacy as a talented but troubled boxer. His larger-than-life persona and impressive skills in the ring will be remembered by boxing fans for years to come.