TRIBUTES have been paid from the boxing world to a Pontypool coach who dedicated his life to the sport.

The former Welsh amateur middleweight champion turned professional Gary Gething died on Tuesday night.

The 54-year-old, who was a coach at Pontypool Amateur Boxing Club and was based at the Pontypool and Panteg gym, won six titles between 1973-1982.

The chairman of Pontypool Boxing Club, Ken Gray, paid tribute to Mr Gething.

He said: “He was a superb boxing man who loved all aspects of the sport.

“He put a lot of time towards his expertise in coaching the younger boxers, who respected him very much.”

He explained that Mr Gething was on the way to becoming a star-rated coach with The International Boxing Association.

He had become a referee last year and was already grade one and Mr Gray said he was more than ready to progress to star class as a judge.

He added: “Gary was a very caring and considerate man to all who knew him.

“Deepest sympathy from Pontypool Boxing club and Eastern Division to all family members. Rest in peace Gary.”

Mr Gething enjoyed a career as a successful amateur boxer and in 1982 he won the Light Middleweight Welsh Amateur Boxing Association title.

He also represented Wales at the British amateurs and turned professional in 1986.

The head coach of St Joseph’s Amateur Boxing Club in Newport, Tony Borg, said: “Deepest sympathy to all family and friends of Gary Gething.

“Gary won Welsh titles at all levels and represented Wales on numerous occasions, he was a great character, a real gent with a sense of humour, and a talent for impersonating, usually Ali, the Greatest. Rest in peace, from all at St Joe’s gym.”

Mr Gething came from a family of boxers, with both his grandfathers, his father and his brothers taking up the sport. His sons Kieran and Connor have also both excelled in the ring and are members of Pontypool ABC.

Tributes were also left on Twitter, with one user, Ellis Batchelor saying: “RIP Gary Gething, great man. Thoughts go out to family.”

A Gwent Police spokeswoman said Mr Gething’s death is not being treated as suspicious.