Terry McGovern (boxer)

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Terry McGovern
Terry McGovern.jpg
Real name Joseph Terrence McGovern
Nickname(s) Terrible
Rated at Bantamweight
Height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Reach 65 in (165 cm)
Nationality United States American
Born (1880-03-09)March 9, 1880
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Died February 22, 1918(1918-02-22) (aged 37)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 80
Wins 65
Wins by KO 44
Losses 6
Draws 8
No contests 1

Terrible Terry McGovern (March 9, 1880 – February 22, 1918) was an American professional boxer who held the World Bantamweight and Featherweight Championships. He was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania as John Terrence McGovern.

Professional career[edit]

Portrait of McGovern

McGovern won the Bantamweight Championship on September 12, 1899 when he knocked out Pedlar Palmer in one round by a series of heavy body blows.[1] This was the first world championship bout under Queensberry Rules to end by a one-round knockout. He never defended the title and relinquished it in 1900.

He then moved up in weight and captured the Featherweight Championship from George Dixon on January 9, 1900, by scoring a technical knockout in the eighth round. As a featherweight, McGovern was involved in some controversial bouts. For example he is credited with knocking out Aurelio Herrera in defense of his crown in 5 rounds. Herrera afterwards claimed he had been doped during the fight. McGovern is also credited with scoring a 2 round knockout over Joe Gans. Gans claimed that he threw the fight.

McGovern lost his crown when he was stopped by Young Corbett II in 2 rounds on November 28, 1901. Corbett also won their rematch.

McGovern finished his career with a record of 65 wins (42 KOs) 5 losses and 5 draws. As was common in that era, he also engaged in many No Decision bouts. In 2003, McGovern was named to the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Boxing historian Nat Fleischer ranked McGovern as the greatest featherweight of all time.

Life after boxing[edit]

McGovern spent much of his later life in mental institutions. He died of pneumonia and kidney ailment in the charity ward of King's County Hospital, Brooklyn, New York, USA, on February 22, 1918.


  1. ^ "Lucky punch that switches titles". The Day. February 6, 1917. p. 10. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Pedlar Palmer
World Bantamweight Champion
September 12, 1899–1900
Succeeded by
Harry Harris
Preceded by
George Dixon
World Featherweight Champion
January 9, 1900 – November 28, 1901
Succeeded by
Young Corbett II