Former boxing champion Dokes, 54, dies of cancer

08/14/2012 12:00 AM

08/13/2012 11:26 PM

Michael Dokes, a former World Boxing Association heavyweight champion, has died. He was 54.

The Rhoden Memorial Home in Akron, Ohio, said Dokes died Saturday.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported the boxer died in an Akron hospice from liver cancer.

Dokes won the heavyweight title at 24 in December 1982 when referee Joey Curtis made a controversial decision to stop his fight against champion Mike Weaver. Dokes dominated the first round over Weaver, prompting the decision.

An admitted problem with cocaine helped him lose the WBA title only nine months later to Gerrie Coetzee, however, and Dokes never held the heavyweight crown again.

Known as "Dynamite" Dokes because he packed a powerful punch, he had a career record of 53-6-2.

Dokes came back for one last shot at the big time, getting a February 1993 opportunity at the heavyweight title against Riddick Bowe in New York.

Dokes earned $750,000 but didn't last long. Bowe won by technical knockout in the first round at Madison Square Garden.

Dokes last fought in October 1997, when he weighed 280 pounds.

Once regarded by many as one of the most promising young fighters in the game, Dokes succumbed to a cocaine habit that cut his career short. He ran into a string of legal problems that derailed his career.

In 1986, Dokes was arrested in Las Vegas for cocaine trafficking and served two years' probation.

In 2000, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempted murder and other charges after holding his girlfriend against her will for six hours in the home they shared. He was released in 2008.

Source: Olympian Delfino is headed to Rockets

A person with knowledge of the deal says the Houston Rockets have agreed to a one-year deal with Argentine forward Carlos Delfino. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been officially announced. The 6-foot-6 Delfino played in the Olympics, where Argentina lost to Russia in the bronze-medal game. Delfino averaged 15.3 points in London.

Verplank, Sluman get

assistant captain nods

Davis Love III has added Scott Verplank and Jeff Sluman as his assistant captains for the Ryder Cup. The more difficult decision is three weeks away when Love must announce his four picks to fill out the American team.

General

North Carolina is investigating how what appears to be a transcript for former football star Julius Peppers surfaced on the university's Web site. The link since has been removed.

Authorities say mixed martial arts fighter and reality show host Jason "Mayhem" Miller is in jail after deputies responding to reports of a break-in found him naked inside a Mission Viejo church.

Talks resume in Toronto today on a new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association. The current deal expires Sept. 15.

Petra Kvitova beat China's Li Na 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in a 2-hour, 17-minute Rogers Cup final in Montreal. It was Kvitova's first title of the year.

– Associated Press

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