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We pay homage to a Newcastillian, Theunis Kok, a former boxing champion, loving husband and father—who sadly passed away on Saturday, 29 October 2022 at the age of 65 years.
His lifelong friend, Leon van Staden explained that he and Theunis grew up together as children, living a stone’s throw away from one another in Murchison Street, Newcastle.
“There are no other words to describe him but to say he was a good person to everyone. He was a man of God, he led a clean life and always motivated people to lead a healthy lifestyle. Theunis was always willing to help a person, dropping what he was doing to assist someone else,” said Leon.
Having known each since their childhood days, Leon said he and Theunis were extremely close, supporting each other in their journey in the worlds of bodybuilding and boxing.
Theunis was a former Natal light heavyweight champion, fighting his way to a national level and making his pro debut on 27 February 1978 at the West Ridge Tennis Stadium in Durban. This is where he went on to win a third-round knockout against William Mandyu.
Theunis proved to be a formidable force in the boxing world, beating some of South Africa’s top fighters. These included boxing A-listers such as Johan Ticky Nel, Kid Jackson Hlongwana, Bruce McIntyre (who would go on to win the South African middleweight title), and Willem Smily Giesing.
Theunis also defeated James Mathatho in three rounds. Mathotho at one time held the South African light heavyweight and heavyweight titles.
However, he fought his last fight on 20 June 1983, finishing with a record of 14 wins and 5 losses. Leon further said that he was always nearby cheering his friend on. “We went through bodybuilding and boxing together, and when I participated in bodybuilding championships, Theunis would diet and train with me, as to he wanted to support me.”
As they grew older, Leon said Theunis remained an avid sports and health enthusiast, training on a regular basis and assisting Leon with the creation of the obstacle course at Body 5000.
Taking part in various obstacle course competitions, Leon said that he and Theunis dominated in their respective age groups, pushing each other to clinch the wins.
While an enthusiastic sportsman, Leon additionally said that offering his support, always remained Theunis’s passion. “Everyone knew Theunis and that they could rely on him,” stated Leon.
Dedicated to God, sports and the community, he highlighted that Theunis was also a devoted family man who loved his wife and four children.
Newcastillian News and Pixelfish Marketing extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
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