Ernie Terrell

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Ernie Terrell
Statistics
Real name Ernest Terrell
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Reach 82 in (208 cm)
Nationality United States American
Born (1939-04-04) April 4, 1939 (age 75)
Belzoni, Mississippi
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 54
Wins 46
Wins by KO 21
Losses 9
Draws 0
No contests 0

Ernie Terrell (born April 4, 1939 in Belzoni, Mississippi) is an American singer, record producer, and former World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight boxing champion. At 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m), he was very tall, by the standards of the day. By comparison, Muhammad Ali was 6 ft 3 in, and Joe Frazier was 5 ft 11 in. Terrell is the older brother of The Supremes' early 1970s lead singer Jean Terrell. In the 1960s, she sang with his group, "Ernie Terrell & the Heavyweights".[1]

In his early boxing career, Terrell defeated some good contenders, including Cleveland Williams (Terrell won the rematch by decision after losing to Williams in their first fight by knockout), Zora Folley, and future Light Heavyweight champion Bob Foster. But he's best remembered for his challenge to World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali, on February 6, 1967—a bout in which he was badly beaten.

Ali was scheduled to fight WBA champion Ernie Terrell (the WBA stripped Ali of his title after his agreement to fight a rematch with Liston) on March 29, but Terrell backed out and Ali won a 15-round decision against substitute opponent George Chuvalo. World Boxing Association matched Terrell and Eddie Machen for the vacant crown. Terrell defeated Machen to win the belt on March 5, 1965. He held it until February 6, 1967 when he lost to Muhammad Ali. During this time, most in the boxing world continued to recognize Ali as the legitimate champion, since he had not lost his championship in a boxing match. The WBA's rival, the World Boxing Council, also continued to recognize Ali as champion.

During his reign as WBA Champion, Terrell defended the title twice, beating Doug Jones and George Chuvalo.

In 1967, Ali and Terrell met to end the confusion about who was the legitimate heavyweight champion. Before the bout, Terrell repeatedly called Ali by his birth name. He explained later that he had known Clay for years in the amateurs and hadn't gotten used to calling him another name. Ali took offense to this, as he had in a previous fight with Ring Legend Floyd Patterson where Patterson chose to call Ali 'Clay.' Ali said he would punish Terrell as he had punished Patterson. Ali won a lopsided 15 round decision, reclaiming the undisputed Championship. The fight is recounted by the film Ali starring Will Smith. Terrell lost an upset 12 round decision later in 1967 in the WBA Heavyweight Tournament which was organized after Ali was stripped of his title in April 1967.

In 55 professional fights, Terrell earned a record of 46 wins (21 by knockout), nine losses and no draws. He retired from boxing in 1973 and began a career as a music producer in Chicago, Illinois, the city where he attended Farragut Career Academy.

Ernie Terrell ran unsuccessfully for alderman of Chicago's 34th ward in 1987. He finished second in the primary but lost to Lemuel Austin in a runoff.

Professional boxing record[edit]

46 Wins (21 knockouts), 9 Losses (2 knockouts)[2]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round
Time
Date Location Notes
Loss 46–9 United States Jeff Merritt TKO 1 (10)
2:4
1973–09–10 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Loss 46–8 United States Chuck Wepner PTS 12 1973–06–23 United States Atlantic City Convention Hall,
Atlantic City, New Jersey
For vacant National Americas Heavyweight title.
Win 46–7 Canada Bill Drover TKO 1 (10)
2:28
1973–02–19 United States The Spectrum,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 45–7 Venezuela José Luis García KO 6 (10) 1972–10–23 Venezuela Caracas, Miranda
Win 44–7 Peru Roberto Davila UD 10 1971–07–24 United States Playboy Club Hotel,
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Win 43–7 Brazil Luis Faustino Pires UD 10 1971–05–10 United States International Amphitheatre,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 42–7 United States Vic Brown UD 10 1971–04–28 United States Cleveland Arena,
Cleveland, Ohio
Win 41–7 United States John Hudgins TKO 1 (10)
1:58
1971–04–03 United States Playboy Club Hotel,
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Win 40–7 United States Sonny Moore UD 10 1970–12–15 United States Eagles Auditorium,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Loss 39–7 Mexico Manuel Ramos UD 10 1967–10–14 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Loss 39–6 United States Thad Spencer UD 12 1967–08–05 United States Houston Astrodome,
Houston, Texas
WBA Heavyweight title eliminator.
Loss 39–5 United States Muhammad Ali UD 15 1967–02–06 United States Houston Astrodome,
Houston, Texas
Lost WBA Heavyweight title.
Win 39–4 United States Doug Jones UD 15 1966–06–28 United States Sam Houston Coliseum,
Houston, Texas
Retained WBA Heavyweight title.
Win 38–4 Canada George Chuvalo UD 15 1965–11–01 Canada Maple Leaf Gardens,
Toronto, Ontario
Retained WBA Heavyweight title.
Win 37–4 United States Eddie Machen UD 15 1965–03–05 United States International Amphitheatre,
Chicago, Illinois
Won vacant WBA Heavyweight title.
Win 36–4 United States Henry Wallitsch RTD 5 (10) 1964–10–23 United States St. Louis, Missouri
Win 35–4 United States Bob Foster KO 7 (10)
0:58
1964–07–10 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Win 34–4 United States Jefferson Davis UD 10 1964–06–17 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 33–4 Germany Gerhard Zech UD 10 1963–03–06 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Win 32–4 United States Zora Folley UD 10 1963–07–27 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Win 31–4 United States Cleveland Williams SD 10 1963–04–13 United States Philadelphia Arena,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 30–4 United States Herb Siler TKO 3 (10) 1963–03–07 United States Little River Auditorium,
Miami, Florida
Win 29–4 United States Young Jack Johnson UD 10 1963–01–05 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Win 28–4 United States Young Jack Johnson UD 10 1962–12–14 United States Chicago Coliseum,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 27–4 Cuba Reiniero Rey Lopez KO 3 (?)
2:15
1962–09–25 United States Comiskey Park,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 26–4 United States Eddie Jackson TKO 2 (10)
2:54
1962–08–24 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium,
Los Angeles, California
Win 25–4 United States Amos Lincoln UD 6 1962–06–09 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Loss 24–4 United States Cleveland Williams TKO 7 (10)
1:43
1962–04–03 United States Houston, Texas
Win 24–3 United States Herb Siler PTS 10 1962–02–28 United States Miami Beach Convention Hall,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 23–3 United States Ernie Cab TKO 3 (6) 1961–12–04 United States Philadelphia Convention Hall,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 22–3 United States Chuck Garrett UD 10 1961–05–15 United States Marigold Gardens,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 21–3 United States Willie Coleman KO 1 (?) 1961–04–17 United States Marigold Gardens,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 20–3 United States Ernie Cab TKO 8 (10) 1961–02–06 United States Marigold Gardens,
Chicago, Illinois
Loss 19–3 United States Wayne Bethea SD 10 1960–12–05 United States Marigold Gardens,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 19–2 United States Joe Hemphill UD 8 1960–07–20 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Won Illinois State Heavyweight title.
Win 18–2 United States Frankie Daniels KO 7 (10) 1960–05–18 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 17–2 United States Lee Williams UD 10 1960–03–30 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 16–2 United States Clay Thomas KO 1 (?) 1960–01–06 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 15–2 United States Chuck Garrett PTS 6 1959–11–11 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 14–2 United States Tunney Hunsaker PTS 8 1959–07–24 United States Freedom Hall State Fairground,
Louisville, Kentucky
Loss 13–2 United States Johnny Gray SD 8 1959–02–25 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 13–1 United States Willie Coleman PTS 8 1959–01–14 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 12–1 United States Sid Peaks UD 8 1958–11–03 United States Joe Louis Gymnasium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 11–1 United States John Hobart KO 1 (?) 1958–10–07 United States East Chicago, Indiana
Win 10–1 United States Joe Hemphill TKO 1 (6) 1958–09–24 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 9–1 United States Billy Pickett KO 2 (8) 1958–07–01 United States Midwest Gymnasium,
Chicago, Illinois
Loss 8–1 United States Johnny Gray SD 8 1958–04–30 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 8–0 United States Johnny Harper TKO 1 (8) 1958–03–11 United States Midwest Gymnasium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 7–0 United States Emil Brtko TKO 2 (8) 1958–02–04 United States Joe Louis Gymnasium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 6–0 United States Calvin Butler SD 6 1958–01–08 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 5–0 United States Ted Poole TKO 1 (6) 1957–10–30 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 4–0 United States Neal Welch UD 6 1957–08–21 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 3–0 United States Ray Griggs KO 1 (4) 1957–07–24 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 2–0 United States Andy Bond TKO 1 (4) 1957–06–26 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 1–0 United States Norman Bolden UD 4 1957–05–15 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Biography: Jean Terrell". AMG. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ernie Terrell Professional boxing record". BoxRec.com. 
  • Konkol, Mark. "Even the champ doesn't feel safe", Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago, October 25, 2009, page 14A.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight boxing champion (WBA)
1965–1967
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ali