Family, friends and well wishers bade farewell to late Jamaican-born former British boxing champion, Gary Mason at a funeral service held last Friday (February 11) in Carshalton, Surrey.
Mason died on January 6, when he was knocked from his bike during a collision with a van in South London.
Jamaican High Commissioner, Anthony Johnson in a message read during the service, said that Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora were deeply saddened to learn of Mason’s untimely passing, which had left a void in the lives of his family and friends.
“We were indeed saddened… Gary was highly regarded for his signal achievements in the boxing arena. He also served as a positive role model not only to Jamaicans, but also to the wider community. Gary influenced a number of successful British boxers of Jamaican heritage, some of whom will represent both countries at the Olympic Games next year,” Mr. Johnson said.
The service was attended by former world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, and renowned boxers Frank Bruno and Michael Watson. During the service, Mason was remembered as a “gentle giant” and a “fantastic friend."
A charity has been launched in his memory to continue and expand the Rhythmical Empowerment Group, which Mason set up in Sutton three years prior to his death, to uplift and help people through African drumming.
The project also assists disabled children and people with learning difficulties, and has a mentoring scheme where the unemployed and ex-offenders are offered the chance for training and employment.
Mason, who was a heavyweight boxer, was known as a tough, hard-hitting fighter with a strong chin.
The 48 year-old fought 38 professional bouts between 1984 to 1994 winning 37, with his only loss to future world champion Lennox Lewis at Wembley Arena in 1991. He was British champion when he lost to Lewis.
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