Legendary boxing referee Eddie Cotton dies of coronavirus aged 72
Boxing referee Eddie Cotton, who was in the ring for the historic bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson in 2002, has died from coronavirus.
The news of the 72-year-old's death was confirmed on Friday by the International Boxing Federation after it was revealed he had been taken to hospital with pneumonia.
An IBF statement read: "Eddie was also involved with several organisations dedicated to youth boxing such as the American Association for the Improvement of Boxing, YCS Foundation and the Lou Costello Sportsmen Club located in his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey.
"Not only was he active in the boxing community, but along with his wife Ruby, both were very involved in their local community and their local government.
"Eddie Cotton was an asset on the IBF Board of Directors, and to the organisation as a whole.
"He had a lot to offer. We are heartbroken and deeply saddened by his passing.
"He was a big guy with a big personality, and always positive. He gave back to his community and was appreciative of his peers in boxing."
The WBA added: "The WBA sends its condolences to Cotton’s family at this difficult time and fondly remembers a great man who did a lot for the sport."
Cotton made his refereeing debut in 1995 and has since overseen numerous historic battles including George Foreman's final win of his career as well as fights involving some of the biggest names of the sport including Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury.
He retired from the sport in 2014 after an illustrious career that spanned 22 years and is survived by his wife, Ruby and his two children, Candace and Edward III.