Boxing suffered several high-profile deaths in 2012 and lost some of its most colorful characters. To respect their memories, here's a look at the year's fallen heroes (Forgive any omissions and feel free to add thoughts, prayers, and memories in the comment section):
(July 7, 1944 - October 25, 2012)
The Hall of Fame trainer of Kronk Gym fame was one of boxing's most respected boxing minds and had his hands in the development of dozens of world class fighters. Steward is best known for his work with Tommy Hearns, Lennox Lewis, and, most recently, Wladimir Klitschko. The affable trainer also worked as an analyst for HBO boxing. Steward, 68, passed away from complications following diverticulitis treatment.
(August 30, 1921 - February 1, 2012)
The Hall of Fame trainer is best known for his lifetime involvement with Muhammad Ali, but also worked with Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Carmen Basilio, Jimmy Ellis, and several other world class fighters over the course of nearly six decades as a trainer/cornerman. Dundee was 90 when he passed away from natural causes.
(April 2, 1927 - November 7, 2012)
Basilio was a two-division world champ, having title reigns at both welterweight and middleweight. Over the course of a thirteen-year Hall of Fame career (1948-1961), the tough battler took on some of his generation's best fighters, including Tony DeMarco, Kid Gavilan, Lew Jenkins, Johnny Saxton, Gene Fullmer, and Sugar Ray Robinson. Basilio was Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year in 1957 and was involved in four Ring Magazine Fights of the Year (vs. DeMarco, vs. Saxton, and twice vs. Robinson). The 85-year-old Basilio passed away from pneumonia.
(May 24, 1962 - November 24, 2012)
The three-division world champ was one of the most accomplished and charismatic boxers of the 80's and is regarded as one of the all-time great Puerto Rican fighters. Over the course of nearly twenty-five years as a pro, Camacho faced stars ranging from Edwin Rosario and Vinny Pazienza to Oscar de la Hoya and Felix Trinidad. Camacho, 50, died from gunshot wounds suffered in a drive-by shooting.
(January 7, 1966 - September 23, 2012)
The former WBO heavyweight champion from South Africa is best known for his second round knockout of Wladimir Klitschko in 2003. The 46-year-old Sanders died from gunshot wounds sustained in a robbery attempt.
(August 10, 1958 - August 11, 2012)
Dokes briefly held the WBA world heavyweight title from 1982-1983 after stopping defending titlist, Mike Weaver, in the first round and then retaining the title in a rematch draw five months later. The 54-year-old Dokes passed away from liver cancer.
(December 6, 1919 - July 4, 2012)
Bivins is regarded as one of the best boxers to never fight for a world title. The Cleveland native's fifteen-year career saw him share the ring with some of the all-time greats of the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, including names such as Archie Moore, Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Walcott, and Ezzard Charles. The 92-year-old Bivins died of complications from pneumonia.
(March 29, 1952 - June 11, 2012)
Stevenson was a three-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist (1972, 1976, 1980) and regarded as one of amateur boxing's all-time greats. Stevenson, 60, passed away from a heart attack.
Julio César Gonzalez
(July 30, 1976 - March 10, 2012)
Gonzalez was a former WBO light heavyweight world champ and a four-time world title challenger. In fifteen years as a pro, the Mexico-born California resident faced the likes of Roy Jones Jr., Dariusz Michalczewski, Clinton Woods, and Tavoris Cloud. Gonzalez was 35 when he died from injuries sustained in a hit and run accident.
(June 7, 1937 - March 25, 2012)
The 74-year-old boxing writer and historian passed away from cardiac arrest. He was a former editor of Ring Magazine and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.
Guerino "Goody" Petronelli
(October 12, 1923 - January 29, 2012)
Former trainer and co-manager of Marvin Hagler, but also worked with Steve Collins, Robbie Sims, and Kevin McBride. The 88-year-old Petronelli passed away from natural causes.
Other Boxing Deaths in 2012 (In Reverse Order):
Johnny Lira, 61
Arnaldo Mesa, 45
Ernest Mateen, 46
Herbie Kronowitz, 89
Algirdas Šocikas, 84
Jorma Limmonen, 78
Aleksandr Koshkyn, 53
Leszek Drogosz, 79
Peter Hussing, 64
Bill Kini, 75
Jerzy Kulej, 71
Roy Shaw, 76
Richard Evatt, 38,
Edgar Ross, 63,
Andrew Ganigan, 59
Eddie Perkins, 75
Raul Rojas, 70
Douglas Rodríguez, 61
Muhammad Afrizal, 30
Terence Spinks, 74
Dave Charnley, 76
Yehuda Ben-Haim, 56
Ghiath Tayfour, 42 or 43
Karlo Maquinto, 21
Jeff Fraza, 34
Livio Minelli, 85
Jay Lambert, 86
Mike Bernardo, 42
Franz Dorfer, 61
Brian Curvis, 74
Takao Sakurai, 70
Artie Levine, 86
Joe Bygraves, 80
Don Fullmer, 72
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
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