“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Terry Lawless dies.

Sometimes it is difficult to justify my love of professional boxing. The courage, nobility and skill displayed in the ring allows the sport to rise above being merely brutal but the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing are frequently less than charming. The image of the heartless manager with no thought of anything but his percentage is one well known in fight game fiction, and sadly in pugilistic fact as well. Terry Lawless who died over Christmas was one of the honourable exceptions. No doubt that as a businessman he was as sharp as the rest but Lawless had a love of boxing and a genuine affection for the fighters that he looked after. As a coach he was sometimes accused of producing one dimensional fighters but not only did he instill a simple step and jab approach but also the need for the highest level of physical fitness and no Lawless boxer ever entered the ring at less than the peak of fitness. Operating out of his gym in Canning Town, the list of fighters that Terry Lawless brought to championship honours reads like a who's who of 80's British boxing. With a genuine concern for his charges he was a calm and reassuring cornerman who must have been wonderful to go back to after a dodgy round. If there is any merit in professional boxing it's due to the likes of Terry Lawless - a credit to the game.


Paul Stott said...

There was also a very good tribute to Lawless in the Hackney Gazette of 31/12/09. A whole page from boxing writer Len Whaley, plus quotes from Jimmy Tibbs, Frank Bruno and Jim Watt.

Watt in particular argues be only won a world title due to Lawless, and Whaley made the interesting point that many did not expect Lawless to succeed in boxing management as he had not been a successful boxer (he was a former clerk on the docks).

The article does not say what became of his old gym, the Royal Oak in Canning Town, but I think we can probably assume it is now yuppie flats or an institution for religious whackos?

ray said...

I haven't been over Canning Town way for some time but according to Wikipedia The Royal Oak is now an estate agents!!

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