Terry Downes is boxing’s most outspoken character. He is as fearless with his words as he is with his punches. If Downes believes in a battle plan he is immovable. it was because of a principle that Downes admits being unwilling to defend his British championship and had the crown stripped by the Board of Control.
Downes won and lost the world title in three controversial matches with American Paul Pender, in Boston and London. He was praised by the American press and had high tributes from Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano and Joe Louis.
But Downes story has more than his thoughts in the ring and of nearly 50 fights. It begins with a humble background in Paddington, then emigrating to America at 16.
The Downes story, written entirely in his own words and colloquial, is hard hitting and fourthright. Downes hates hypocrisy and refuses to hide his feelings on his own life, his training and fights, his brushes with officialdom, his court actions won in America, and the upsets of his home life that had a bearing on losing a ‘big’ fight.
Because Downes has become the biggest character of modern boxing – and equal of any of an era – he’s met and talked with names from every aspect of sport. Today he is a business tycoon sharing in a vast empire of betting shops and is probably the most affluent boxer in Britain – and more than most in the world.