Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion,
Gerrie Coetzee, will go down in history as one of the
greatest fighters South Africa has ever produced

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The Boksburg Bomber
The Bionic Fist
Those were the names attributed to Gerrie Coetzee, the first fighter in the history of world boxing to claim the WBA Heavyweight title for the African continent - and also the first white person in 23 years to do so.

Friday evening 23 September, 1983

Richfield Coliseum Cleveland, Ohio.
The third minute of the 10th round. A silent, stunned crowd. America's favourite, Michael Dokes, is on the canvas. Gerrie Coetzee shocked world boxing. He becomes the WBA Heavyweight Champion with a killer left.

With a deafening roar the spectators erupt.
On the other side of the Atlantic a united South Africa goes wild with what has just happened. With this glorious victory, Gerrie can unite his divided nation through a mutual love of boxing. It's a dream he had always strived for and he is everyone's champion.

"GERRIE the Movie" tells the story of an average young boy from Boksburg on the East rand of Johannesburg, who dreamt of becoming a boxing hero. The film journeys through his life, telling a story of many highlights and some monumental hurdles.

Central to the story is the protagonist, Gerrie, who was caught up in the grip of apartheid which in itself becomes the antagonist. The inhumane system of legal separation through the perceived superiority of a single race over others, caused many obstacles that he had to face; personally as well as in his career. During major fights he was continuously targeted by anti-apartheid activists. Fights were marred by vicious and disrupting protests. Security police had to patrol streets. Fear and anxiety for his beloved wife, family, friends and his own safety became Gerrie’s constant companions. The personal attacks intensified and started to affect his opponents who themselves become targets during international fights.

Non-political and averse to violence, Gerrie cannot condone the concept of apartheid and its devastating consequences. Throughout his life the cornerstone of his value system is seeking peace and above all, fairness and equality for all. He diligently works with determination and commitment towards one goal - to become the world heavyweight boxing champion.

Apartheid is responsible for debilitating international sporting boycotts. Securing boxing venues become problematic. Boxing promoters solve these challenges by moving the fights out of South Africa to the neighboring independent state of Bophuthatswana, the home of Sun City.

Gerrie’s greatest boxing attribute is his devastating right hand. It is also his greatest challenge. Injury, pain and reconstructive surgery become his constant companions. The film shows how he has to fight through pain thresholds - especially when he breaks his left thumb just before the Michael Dokes fight. They keep this injury from promoter Don King who would not allow the fight to continue.

His broken right hand earns him the nickname "The Bionic Fist" but jealous opponents and the media uses a more derogatory name, "Gerrie Sore Hands"

International and South African actors will portray the roles in this film that will be shot on location in South Africa.

Viewers will not only be treated to a moving and gripping drama, but also exploding boxing matches, thriller moments and action sequences relieved by some comic moments.

On the 23rd of September 1983 in Cleveland, Ohio during the third minute of the 10th round, Nelson Mandela’s warm well wishes from Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town helps him to victory. A victory achieved despite constant threats on his life while he was preparing for the fight.

A quiet, soft spoken man with integrity. His calm demeanor often hid his will of steel. He is committed, motivated and determined to achieve the goal he has set for himself. He remains fiercely loyal to his family, friends, his training and management team. His love and care for his wife and children forms the foundation for his life. He is often perceived to be naive because he is trusting and likes to see the best in people. But he has a gift to observe and gets to know people first.

He loves animals and is never without his companion spaniel, Wendy. His preferred drink is milk and he’s a complete tee-totteler. Gerrie loves to tease and enjoys a good prank now and then.

She is Gerrie’s soul mate, loyal wife, mother and biggest supporter. She is always by his side - through thick and thin. Rina is strong and makes herself heard when required to do so. Her energy keeps the story together. Gerrie’s promise that he makes her to become world heavyweight champion is his motivation to achieve great heights.

His uncompromising and strict father. A difficult man who sees himself as his coach. He remains totally committed and focused to realise Gerrie’s dream of becoming the world champion at all costs.

His mother - strict with religion as her foundation. She is always concerned about how to best protect her son against the brutality of a career in boxing.

Legendary, larger than life, American promoter that put the Coetzee/Dokes fight together in the States. Rigid, intelligent, very clever, formidable and cunning. Gerrie has great respect for him. The night Gerrie won the WBA Heavyweight he told the world that “Out of all the fighters that I have developed, clothed and financed, Gerrie Coetzee is the only one who had the decency to say thank you”

Gerrie’s Manager and friend during the WBA title fight. Through tough negotiations he secures the fight between Gerrie and Michael Dokes by contacting Don King. Gerrie asks Thinus to pray with him the night before the fight

The Snipes fight in New York was overshadowed by anti-apartheid protests. Gerrie, Rina and their one year old son are smuggled into the boxing arena in a commercial seafood truck.

The Spinks/Coetzee fight in Monte Carlo lasted only one minute, 23 seconds. A spectacular win for Gerrie. Spinks beat Mohammed Ali on points prior to his meeting with Coetzee.

Much controversy surrounded the Stephens/Coetzee fight. During this fight Gerrie uses a piece of plactic cut from a milk container to offer protection for his hand. This leads to a three month ban of his management team. The two fighters start as opponents and end up becoming close friends. Gerrie appoints Randy as his sparring partner for the world title fight.

During his visit to South Africa to defend his world title against Gerrie, the apartheid laws had to be bent to accommodate him. The fight takes place at Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria. Strong criticism from black journalists leveled against Tate about fighting in South Africa was deftly handled by Tate.

He held the WBA heavyweight title from 1982 - 1983. After winning a silver medal in the heavyweight division at the 1975 Pan American Games, he received national exposure in a televised exhibition with Muhammad Ali. His reign was short-lived when he lost his title to Gerrie by a tenth-round knockout.


Kenddrie Utuk is an executive producer, sales executive and businessman and founder of Fontabila Productions Inc, an entertainment strategy firm. His recent work includes "The Charly Boy Story", "The Emancipation of Karl" and other feature projects. In addition, Kenddrie has helped manage international boxers from underprivileged communities. He is a leading figure in defining the boxing film genre in the United States. He recently visited Cape Town to secure locations and handling filming and production logistics with fellow producer Skip Hartquist.

DAVID A. HARTQUIST - Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Executive Producer, David “Skip”Hartquist recently retired from law practice after 43 years with his Washington, DC law firm. He won many commendations during his career, including Best Lawyers in America, Top Lawyers, Super Lawyers and Highest Possible Ratings for Legal and Ethical Standards. He has been working with Executive Producer Kenddrie Utuk, focusing on legal, financial and production matters relating to “Gerrie” and several other movies in various stages of production. His interest in movies was stimulated by his appearance as an 18 year old extra in “Because They’re Young” for which he received $20 and a box lunch. He cannot remember the name of the second movie in which he appeared.


For 51 years film director Koos Roets has been a formidable figure in South Africa’s film industry and he still has the energy, passion and drive of which younger film makers dream. During his career, Koos has been involved in more than 150 productions as director of photography, director, scriptwriter and producer. His name has featured 35 times among the nominees for various awards of which he’s won 33. The South African film industry regards him as a living legend


Andre has produced and co- produced more than 30 full length South African features since 1976, as well as seven TV drama and comedy series for national TV networks. Five of the films produced were also released internationally. His last film ”Meerkat Maantuig” was acclaimed at many film festivals.

André and Koos Roets collaborated in producing five feature films and six TV drama series. Their series “Dryfsand’ (Quicksand ) received a number of awards for its direction and producing feats.

Prior to moving into Film Production, Andre held the position of Financial and Manager for a major local film distributor responsible for securing rights of all local productions for the company. He completed his Masters degree in Business leadership (MBL) while in film distribution.