It is with great sadness that I write about the loss of a Bunbury man who was special to so many people.
Earlier this week, Peter Stokes passed away.
For those of you who do not know Pete, he was the owner of Denning Boxing Gym.
But he was a lot more than a gym owner, he was a boxing coach, father, husband and friend.
Pete was a fighter in every sense of the word.
He overcame countless health troubles, including a kidney and pancreas transplant, to be here for his family.
He loved his boxing and proudly coached Nathanial ‘Cheeky’ May to his biggest fight yet in December.
Cheeky claimed the WBO Asia Pacific featherweight championship after knocking out previously undefeated Aelio Mesquita.
I was listening to the radio on the morning of Cheeky’s fight and Pete was interviewed.
Pete was telling us how he had received bad news on his health and he wasn’t sure what more could be done for him.
But while he was telling thousands of people about his prognosis, he stayed strong and selfless and said he hadn’t told Cheeky because he didn’t want to ruin his chances of winning.
I met Pete by going to his gym. He was a sassy man who always loved a joke and treated everyone that walked through the door as his family.
Pete and his partner Jodie are the parents of that place and, I believe, that’s why they have made it so successful.
They push you through good times and bad times to help you be the best you can be.
Pete has also left behind three children whom he adored so much.
When he was in recovery for his kidney and pancreas transplants, he told the Mail it was for one reason.
“The most important thing for me was making sure I could be around for my three kids.”
Pete has left a great legacy of love, dedication, humour and boxing.
I cannot express how grateful I am to have known Pete and to have been part of his life in a small way.
My love and sympathy goes to those closest to him - his family.
Jodie, I know you will keep fighting the same way Pete did, until the very end.
Rest in Peace Pete Stokes.