Terry Downes former World middleweight champion SIGNED and INSCRIBED promotional black & white 6" x 4" photo.
Terry Downes, BEM (9 May 1936 – 6 October 2017) was a British middleweight and occasional film actor. He was nicknamed the "Paddington Express" for his aggressive fighting style.
As of 2008, Downes was Britain's oldest surviving former World champion. He held the World middleweight title for ten months from 1961-62.
Downes was born in Paddington, London. Despite a relatively short boxing career, Downes managed to accomplish a great deal, most notably winning the World Middleweight Title on 11 July 1961 by defeating Paul Pender at the Empire Pool, Wembley, England.
After an inauspicious first fifteen months in the profession, comprising 16 wins and 3 defeats, Downes won the British Middleweight Title, vacated by Pat McAteer's retirement, by beating Phil Edwards on 30 September 1958 at the Harringay Arena, London. In 1959, Downes lost and won back the title from John "Cowboy" McCormack. On 5 July 1960, Downes successfully defended the title against Edwards again.
Downes lost his first World Title shot to Paul Pender at Boston in January 1961. The following summer, however, Downes fought Pender again, this time in London, and defeated the American convincingly in front of a raucous Wembley crowd. Pender won the title back the following year, defeating Downes in Boston once more, this time on points.
Downes responded to the loss of his title by winning his next 7 bouts, and having felt he had accomplished all he could at middleweight, he moved up to fight Willie Pastrano for the World Light-Heavyweight Title in Manchester on 30 November 1964. Downes was knocked down twice in the 11th round and Pastrano retained his title – it was to be Downes' last fight. One of the most impressive scalps of Downes' 8-year career was that of Sugar Ray Robinson in the autumn of 1962. Robinson was, however, 41 at the time, and when asked after the fight how it felt to beat a boxer of such esteem, Downes famously replied, "I didn't beat Sugar Ray, I beat his ghost."
Downes was famous for a number of quips. After a particularly brutal fight early in his career against Dick Tiger, Downes was asked who he wanted to fight next. He replied, "The bastard who made this match", in reference to his manager at the time, Mickey Duff.
Downes fought six World champions and beat three: Robinson, Pender and Joey Giardello. His record was: 44 fights, 35 wins (28 KOs), 9 losses.
Life Outside The Ring
Moving with his parents to the United States as a teenager Downes served in the US Marine Corps from 1954-56. It was in the marines that he got his first experience in the ring, winning several amateur trophies. After his term of service, he returned to London and turned professional.
Post-boxing, Downes acted occasionally between 1965 and 1990, usually appearing a thug, villain or bodyguard. One of his more prominent roles was in Roman Polanski's 1967 film The Fearless Vampire Killers, in which he played "Koukol", a hunchbacked servant. His other film credits included appearances in A Study in Terror (1965), Five Ashore in Singapore (1967), The Golden Lady (1979), If You Go Down in the Woods Today (1981), and the Derek Jarman film Caravaggio (1986).
Downes and his wife Barbara were married from 1958 until his death in 2017. They had four children and eight grandchildren.
Terry Downes died on 6 October 2017, aged 81.