Maurice Watkins

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For the solicitor and chairman of football club Barnsley, see Maurice Watkins (solicitor).

Maurice Watkins (born August 29, 1956) is a former boxer from Houston, Texas. Nicknamed Termite, he was born into a family that was in the insect killing business, and he is a professional fumigator.

Professional Boxing Career[edit]

Watkins turned professional as a boxer on May 21, 1974, beating Cesar Cortez by knockout in round one at Houston. Through his career, Watkins fought some of the best fighters in the Lightweight and Jr. Welterweight divisions. He beat Marion Thomas by a knockout in round seven, Rocky Ramon by a decision in twelve, Arturo Leon by decision in ten, Bruce Strauss by knockout in three, Bobby Rodriguez by knockout in one, and others. His fight with former United States Lightweight champion Norman Goins resulted in a three-round no contest. He also lost to Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr.. and Alfredo Escalera. On October 2 of 1980, at the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, he got his only world title shot, losing to Saoul Mamby by a fifteen-round decision for the WBC's world Jr. Welterweight title. He retired with 61 wins, 5 losses, 2 draws (tie), one no contest and 42 wins by knockout.[1]

Professional boxing record[edit]

61 Wins (42 knockouts, 19 decisions), 5 Losses (0 knockouts, 5 decisions), 2 Draws, 1 No Contest [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 1-1 Mexico Yaqui Hernandez PTS 6 16/03/1990 Arizona Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 12-10-1 United States Robert "The Line" Dixon TKO 2 17/02/1990 Texas Conroe, Texas, United States
Win 14-3-4 United States Joe "Attorney" Garcia PTS 10 11/12/1989 Texas Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, Texas, United States
Win 7-7-1 United States Moses "Governor" Robinson KO 2 05/10/1989 Texas Houston, Texas, United States
Win 4-4 United States "Candlelight" Virgil Green KO 3 10/08/1989 Montana Billings, Montana, United States
Win -- Mexico Raymundo Lopez KO 2 20/07/1989 Arizona Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona, United States
Win 1-0-1 Carlos "Rocky" Gonzalez KO 1 01/06/1989 Arizona Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 6-1-1 United States Anthony "Two Gun" Williams PTS 6 30/04/1989 Texas Galveston, Texas, United States 57-57, 58-56, 57-57.
Loss 48-12-3 Puerto Rico Alfredo Escalera UD 10 12/11/1982 Florida Orange Bowl, Miami, United States
Win 4-14 United States Paul Gentry KO 4 22/09/1982 Texas Houston, United States
Win 0-1 Mexico Jose "J-Rod" Rodriguez KO 10 27/08/1982 Texas Houston, United States
Win 60-34-3 United States Bruce Strauss KO 3 17/08/1982 Louisiana Blackham Coliseum, Lafayette, Louisiana, United States
Win 2-0 United States Billy "The Kid" Smith KO 3 21/07/1982 Louisiana Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Loss 28-12-5 United States Saoul Mamby UD 15 02/10/1980 Nevada Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, United States WBC World Light Welterweight Title. 140-146, 139-147, 141-147.
Win 17-24 United States Larry "Legend" Moore KO 3 22/05/1980 Michigan Holland, Michigan, United States
Win 23-25 United States Sammy Rookard KO 4 06/04/1980 Texas Astro Arena, Houston, United States
Win 3-2-1 The Bahamas Nathan "Famous" Davis KO 3 22/03/1980 Michigan Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Win 0-11 United States Jimmy "Wakeboard" Martinez KO 1 09/01/1980 Michigan Holland, Michigan, United States
Loss 11-0 United States Howard Davis, Jr. UD 10 14/09/1979 Texas Houston Summit, Houston, Texas, United States
Win 2-8 United States Roberto "Baby" Perez KO 7 15/08/1979 Texas Beaumont Civic Center, Beaumont, Texas, United States
Draw 9-4-1 Dominican Republic Teodoro Osuna PTS 10 09/03/1979 New York (state) Madison Square Garden, New York City, United States
Win 1-3-1 United States Richie Lee Roberts KO 3 16/01/1979 Texas Houston, United States
Win 2-1-1 The Bahamas Arthur "Space Odyssey" Clarke KO 7 09/12/1978 Texas Houston, United States
Win 0-6 United States Gary "Black" Smith KO 5 02/11/1978 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 16-11-1 United States Rick Craney KO 1 15/08/1978 Texas Houston, United States
Win 21-19-1 United States Joe Medrano KO 7 16/05/1978 Texas Houston, United States
Win 1-8-2 United States John "Wolf" Morgan KO 4 20/04/1978 Texas Houston, United States
Win 15-6 United States Hilbert Stevenson PTS 10 11/04/1978 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 5-1 Puerto Rico Benny Marquez PTS 10 19/01/1978 Texas Houston, United States
Win 10-1 United States Steve "Hammer" Homan PTS 10 01/12/1977 Texas Houston, United States
Win 15-10 United States Freddie "Stepper" Harris PTS 10 25/10/1977 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win -- Cuyo Mendoza TKO 3 27/09/1977 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 6-4 Mexico Paulino Garcia TKO 5 22/09/1977 Florida Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa, Florida, United States
Win 12-11 Puerto Rico Ernesto Ortega KO 7 26/07/1977 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
No Contest 17-5-1 United States "Stormin" Norman Goins ND 10 22/03/1977 Texas Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Win 7-2 United States Jose "Speedy" Gonzalez PTS 10 16/02/1977 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Loss 4-10 Mexico Augustin Estrada UD 10 17/11/1976 Texas Convention Center Arena, San Antonio, United States 90-98, 93-94, 97-98.
Win 2-2 United States Otto Breeding KO 3 26/10/1976 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 13-11-1 United States Arturo Leon UD 10 21/09/1976 Texas Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Win 14-6 United States Rocky Ramon PTS 12 31/08/1976 Texas Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Win 4-7 Mexico Agustin Estrada TKO 7 09/08/1976 Louisiana Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, United States
Win 4-3 United States Richie Puentes KO 6 24/07/1976 Mississippi Biloxi, Mississippi, United States
Loss 18-5-2 Dominican Republic Adriano Marrero SD 10 16/03/1976 Florida Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Win 2-5 Mexico Valente Ramos KO 3 09/03/1976 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 4-4 United States Lamar Baskin KO 2 24/02/1976 New Mexico Albuquerque Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Win 0-1 Chamaco Cuenca KO 5 10/02/1976 Florida Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Win 13-0 Dominican Republic Juan "and Only" Hidalgo UD 10 20/01/1976 Florida Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Win -- United States Bobby Flores TKO 6 18/11/1975 Texas Houston, United States
Win 9-2-1 United States Larry Peterson KO 5 19/08/1975 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 0-1-2 United States Gene Prado UD 10 29/07/1975 California Circle Star Theater, San Carlos, California, United States
Win 31-10-1 United States Marion "Tiger" Thomas KO 7 16/07/1975 Texas Houston, United States
Win 6-3-4 United States Victor de la Cruz UD 10 17/06/1975 California San Jose Civic Auditorium, San Jose, California, United States
Win 7-4 United States Leroy Walker TKO 8 21/05/1975 California Circle Star Theater, San Carlos, California, United States
Win 0-1 Mexico Rudy Gonzalez PTS 10 06/05/1975 California San Jose, California, United States
Win 4-4-1 United States Otis Locklear KO 3 22/04/1975 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 2-5 The Bahamas Mike Whymms PTS 8 15/04/1975 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 9-2 United States Gilbert "Machete" Galvan PTS 10 17/02/1975 Texas Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Win 8-6 United States Dave Kibby UD 8 29/01/1975 California Cow Palace, San Francisco, United States
Win 4-4-1 United States Vicente Hernandez PTS 10 17/01/1975 California San Jose Civic Auditorium, San Jose, California, United States
Win 0-2 The Bahamas "Sugar" Ray Sears PTS 6 17/12/1974 Florida Orlando, Florida, United States
Win -- Mexico Robert "Baby" Perez KO 1 10/11/1974 Texas Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Win 23-7-2 United States Bobby Rodriguez KO 1 13/10/1974 Texas Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Win 0-3 United States Ricky Ramos KO 4 26/08/1974 Texas Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Win 13-13 United States Nick Alfaro PTS 8 18/08/1974 Texas Houston, United States
Win 0-2 United States Arturo Cirillos KO 3 05/08/1974 Texas Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Win 5-9 United States Harvey "Candyman" Wilson KO 6 16/07/1974 Texas Houston, United States
Win 0-1 United States Arturo Cirillos TKO 4 02/07/1974 Texas Houston, United States
Win 1-3 United States Lupe Cantù KO 3 04/06/1974 Texas Houston, United States
Win 0-1 Cesar Cortez KO 1 21/05/1974 Texas Houston, United States

After Boxing[edit]

After retiring, Watkins went back to Texas to work as a fumigator. He remained in obscurity there for many years.

In 2003, the American military, needing personnel to work rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, contracted him as a fumigator to work on Iraqi homes that had been decaying and infected with insects during Saddam Hussein's presidency. The military did not know of Watkins' background as a boxer.

In 2008, writer Suzy Pepper, a former neighbor of Maurice Watkins, released "Termite", a biographical book about Watkins.[2] Also in 2008, a movie based on the book was announced.[3]

In Iraq[edit]

After the IOC announced that Iraq would be allowed to compete in seven sports at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, including boxing, the United States military, overviewing the new Iraqi Olympic committee, set about to find a new boxing coach for the Iraqi national boxing team. With research, they found out about Watkins' background, and invited him to coach a team of young hopefuls in Baghdad. When Watkins arrived there, he saw what he described to a Sports Illustrated columnist as not too much talent, but a lot of heart.

Realizing he needed to train the team in a setting different from Baghdad, he moved his team to a city close to Baghdad, but much quieter than the capital city. He trained nine Iraqi boxers who hoped to reach the Olympics, but, out of those, only Najah Ali was able to qualify for the games.

During the training period of these young prospects, he invented a phrase that has become widely popular in Iraq: Every morning, after arrival to the gym, he would chant Iraq! Iraq! Iraq is back! to help inspire his boxers. The phrase has become so popular in Iraq that the United States military has ordered 1,000 T-shirts to be printed with the phrase, to be handled among Iraqi citizens.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Maurice Watkins
  2. ^ bookmasters.com
  3. ^ pathsapartproductions.com

External links[edit]