Coert Fourie dies in Johannesburg - by Ron Jackson

Former middleweight contender Coert Fourie has died in Johannesburg at the age
of 69.

Fourie, who fought in the 1970s, died of a heart attack at Panorama Estates south
of Johannesburg on June 3.

Fourie and Kosie Smith were debutants when they fought at the Wembley Ice Rink
in Johannesburg on February 5, 1968. Fourie was knocked out in the fourth round.

Smith went on to win the SA lightheavyweight title and challenged Victor Galindez for the WBA belt.

Fourie, a popular fighter around Johannesburg, beat several talented opponents, including Severino Pastore, Jim Swords and Dick Duffy, who handed SA middleweight champion Pierre Fourie his first defeat.

Coert and Pierre Fourie met at the Ellis Park tennis stadium in Johannesburg on
April 19, 1969 for the South African middleweight title. It turned out to be a memorable fight of which sports journalist Paul Irwin wrote:

"Pierre broke his right thumb in two places on his way to a points win in his first
defence of his championship. He battled through 10 rounds with just his left hand
and a suspect right."

This was the story of Coert’s boxing career. He had three more cracks at winning a title, but came short every time.

Fighting out of his division, he lost a close decision to Sarel Aucamp in a clash
for the Transvaal light-heavyweight title. Aucamp later won the SA lightheavyweight and heavyweight titles.

At the end of his career in 1975, Coert Fourie challenged Jan Kies for the SA middleweight title but was well beaten on points.

He then dropped to junior middleweight and was stopped in the ninth round by
Gert Craemer. However, he recorded good wins over Dominic Germishuys and Dave Rose.

After he retired from the ring, he turned to carpet laying and ran his own business
for more than 20 years.