Radio station 97.3 ESPN in southern New Jersey reports that former light heavyweight contender Richie Kates passed away last week at the age of 69. Kates retired after a 14-year career in 1983 with a record of 44-6 with 23 knockouts. Kates had the misfortune of competing in the light heavyweight division during an era of murderous competition. He had a notable road win over Pierre Fourie in South Africa, then suffered losses in two championship fights against Victor Galindez and then to future champion Matthew Saad Muhammad. Kates ended his career on a very strong run, winning his last five fights, including wins over respected contender Jerry Martin and future cruiserweight champion Jeff Lampkin. Kates was a respected trainer after his boxing campaigns ended. Boxingtalk sends its sympathies to the friends and family of Richie Kates.