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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Boxing champion Donna Pepper dies in holiday tragedy in Cambodia

Donna Pepper
A family photo of Donna Pepper in the ring.


DONNA Pepper was good at most things. At the rest, she was great.
Nothing proved that more than when female state boxing champion in 2006, she gave up her gold medal to fight an opponent from a heavier weight division, and then gave her a boxing lesson.

The title was the crowning moment of Donna's career, which was tragically cut short on Monday when she was killed in a motorcycle crash in Cambodia.

Donna, 30, died during a tour of the Forbidden Temple while on a five-month Asian holiday.

Her father, David Pepper, said Donna was an outstanding boxer who was as talented out of the ring as in it.

"They gave her the outstanding boxer of the tournament, it was a beautiful fight," he said, recalling the moment she beat the odds.

"She was a champion."

Mr Pepper said Donna had planned to do volunteer work with orphans and at an animal refuge during her trip before spending a month kick boxing.

Born in North Haven, Donna worked mainly in payroll and had just finished work at Clipsal.

"She's just a genius. She had a go at everything and was good at most things and great at some things," Mr Pepper said.

Donna's former boxing coach, Tiny Lennell, said she was a good student of the sport.

"She was a good boxer with a beautiful right hand," he said.

Former Boxing South Australia president Phillip Goodes said Donna was a strong and competitive boxer with a good nature.

Donna leaves behind parents David and Dianne and her brother, David Jnr.

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