Media reports from England confirmed that just before dawn on Thursday 6th December, the 48-year-old Jamaica-born Mason was riding his bicycle, which collided with a van.
Mason was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident, while the driver of the van was taken to a local police station on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was bailed pending further inquiries.
Mason, an uncomplicated boxer with a strong chin, lost only one fight to future World champion Lennox Lewis. He had 37 victories in a career from 1984 to 1994.
He won the British championship by knocking out fellow Jamaican Hughroy Currie in the fourth round at the Royal Albert in London in 1989, and in his second defence, lost it to Lewis on a seventh-round stoppage (cut eye) at the Wembley Arena two years later.
A detached retina aggravated in that fight caused him to retire from the sport in the same year, but he returned briefly to the ring for two further fights before he stepped away permanently.
A courageous contestant, Mason took heavy punishment especially in the bruising fight with Lewis.
Although the majority of his opponents were undistinguished, Mason was rated fifth in the world immediately prior to his contest with Lewis.
Nevertheless, he included James ‘Quick’ Tillis and Tyrell Biggs, American challengers to the world title, among his knockout victories.
Mason did much to restore the prestige of British heavyweight boxing after the decline of the preceding two decades, but his career was overshadowed by the higher profiled of Frank Bruno, his contemporary and South London colleague, and the greater achievement of Lewis.
After retiring from the ring, Mason tried his hand at several activities. He was a boxing pundit for Sky Television, where his straightforward speaking, good-natured, but on occasion coarse comments, did not always fit in with the preferred approach.
He was also briefly a Rugby League footballer, ran a jewellery shop at Gillingham in Kent, and worked latterly in the health service.
Described by promoter/manager Frank Maloney, among others, as being “one of the good guys of boxing”, Mason was nearly always smiling and was supportive of the enterprises of others.
Maloney added that the fighter “had a colorful life and had a few setbacks after boxing, but you never heard him complaining”.
Bruno said of his former rival: “Gary was probably a better technical boxer than me, although I had more determination. I had a lot of respect for the guy.”
Former agent David Hahn remarked: “Gary was a giant of a man in personality as well as size. He was the classic gentle giant. I don’t know anybody who had a bad word to say against him.”
Mason and Bruno did not fight each other professionally as they shared the same manager, Terry Lawless.
At the time of the accident, Mason, the son of a carpenter, had been living alone after separation from the mother of his 17-year-old son, Jordan.