March 12, Maurice ‘Termite’ Watkins

March 12, Maurice "Termite" Watkins

An Olympic Dream that Changed the World

"The story of an American Prize Fighter who went to Iraq to kill bugs and built an Olympic team instead."

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From the age of 10 years old his passion was to be a champion. He realized that dream many times over by becoming our Nation’s first 16-year-old Golden Gloves Champion (with an amateur record of 128 wins and 10 losses), by becoming a professional boxer (with a record of 58 wins, 5 losses, 2 draws, and 48 knock-outs), and by concluding his career with a fight for the coveted world title! After his legendary career he was asked to go to Iraq and use his pest control skills to rid our US military camps of bugs, scorpions, and snakes. Through a series of events, he was soon asked to coach and qualify the Iraqi boxing team for the 2004 Olympics.

He inspired the world and will inspire you as well, with his story of incredible perseverance overcoming daunting obstacles as he helped Iraq reach their Olympic dreams!

Maurice “Termite” Watkins

Maurice “Termite” Watkins always loved a good fight. At ten years of age and a scrawny 65 pounds, he already knew what he wanted – to be a champion. With very little natural athletic ability, he reached his goals through sheer determination and perseverance.

At age sixteen, Termite became the nation’s youngest national Golden Gloves champion. He was an astounding amateur, with 128 wins and only 10 losses.

Termite turned pro his senior year in high school, and set his sights on a world title. His 58 professional wins included 48 knock-outs. In 1980, he fought in Caesar’s Palace for the coveted world title in a double main event that featured Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes. In a fifteen-round brutal fight, Termite lost to champion Saoul Mamby.

Retired from boxing and enjoying a successful sales career, Termite was settled into a suburban life with his family in Deer Park, Texas until the events on 9/11 changed his life. Termite felt an overwhelming desire – he believed it was a calling of God – to serve his country. He asked what he could do for his country. The surprising answer was pest control, the business he’d learned as a child from his father. The coalition needed someone to go into Iraq to rid military camps of snakes, scorpions and bugs. Termite headed to Iraq. (read more)