Terry Lawless

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Terry Lawless (29 March 1933 – 24 December 2009) was an English boxing manager and trainer who worked in London, most successfully during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.


Born in West Ham, Lawless started his coaching and management career in 1957 after his National Service, and formed a close friendship with Norman Giller, who was then Sports Editor of the local Stratford Express newspaper. Lawless was based at the Royal Oak gym in the Canning Town district of London.[1] Giller was his publicist throughout his career.

His early stable of local boxers included former London amateurs such as Stan Kennedy, Johnny Caiger, Jimmy Tibbs, Silvester Mittee and Jimmy Anderson. He hired George Wiggs and Frank Black as his training assistants, both of whom stayed with him for more than ten years. Tibbs later rejoined Lawless as a trainer, as did George Francis, who formed a winning team with Frank Bruno.[citation needed]

He was associated with promoters Mickey Duff,[2] Jarvis Astaire, Harry Levene, and Mike Barrett, who effectively controlled British boxing. The team dealt primarily with the BBC, which gave rise to the famous relationship between Frank Bruno and the commentator Harry Carpenter, but they were ousted during the late 1980s by Frank Warren, who initially had the support of ITV.[3]

Famous for looking after his fighters like a father rather than a manager, Lawless often fell out with matchmaker Mickey Duff because he did not want to expose his boxers to unnecessary dangers. Duff stated in his autobiography that Lawless was always asking for opponents who would defend but not attack! While living in retirement in Marbella with his wife of more than 50 years Sylvia, Lawless often said he was happy to be remembered as the manager who did not want his boxers hurt.[citation needed]

Jim Watt, one of six Lawless-trained-and-managed boxers who went on to win world titles (including Frank Bruno, and Joe Calzaghe under different management), wrote in his autobiography, Watt's My Name:

Personal life[edit]

He was married to his wife Sylvia for 53 years and they had two children, Lorraine and Steven.[citation needed]


On 24 December 2009, Lawless died in Marbella, Spain, in hospital after undergoing gallbladder surgery.[4]

Boxers managed/trained[edit]

Among the boxers Lawless managed/trained were:


External links[edit]