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Lennox Lewis’ Former Coach Dies

October 10, 2002

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KITCHENER, Ontario (AP) _ Arnie Boehm, heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis’ former boxing coach, has died of a heart attack. He was 69.

Boehm died Wednesday at his gym. He coached Lewis throughout his amateur career, and after Lewis moved back to his native England to turn pro in 1989, Boehm followed his career and attended many of his fights.

``Arnie Boehm was more of a father figure to me than any other person in my life as well as being my amateur boxing coach,″ Lewis said in a statement.

``Arnie planted the seed in me to go on and become not only Olympic champion but also undisputed world heavyweight champion.″

A former boxer, Boehm learned about the sport from Jerome ``Hook″ McComb, a Kitchener police officer who started the Waterloo Regional Boxing Academy in the 1940s.

Boehm trained boxers alongside McComb and took over the academy in 1981.

Lewis was just 12 when he walked into the gym and caught McComb’s eye. Boehm then guided Lewis to a brilliant amateur career.

In June, Boehm said he had ``reached my crowning achievement″ when Lewis knocked out Mike Tyson to retain his world title.

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