Frank Tate was an American professional boxer…. who was a National Golden Gloves light middleweight champion….anh won the light middleweight gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Tate began his professional career in December 1984…..when he won the vacant IBF middleweight title by beating Michael Olajide over fifteen rounds at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas in October 1987. Tate successfully defended his title against Tony Sibson with a tenth round stoppage in Staffordshire, England….then he lost his belt to undefeated phenom Michael Nunn in nine rounds at Caesars Palace in July 1988.
Frank Tate was a “really good” boxer during the Golden Age of Boxing who fought one of the few fighters that we have in our ImaSportsphile boxing section that had a career losing record…..as David Barrow fought in the middleweight division from 1985 to 1991…. while ending his career with 7 wins 14 losses 5 draws, so I am going to focus this post on the color commentator for this fight, Maurice “Termite” Watkins….who was born and raised in Houston, Texas….a “homeboy” of sorts to us at ImaSportsphile….as Termite had a career that started in 1974 and ended in 1999….a 25 year career that ended with 61 wins 42 by knockout 5 losses and 1 draw….including a fight for one world title. This is our tribute to Texas’ own Termite Watkins.
Termite Watkins turned professional as a boxer on May 21, 1974, beating Cesar Cortez by knockout in round one at Houston. Through his career, Watkins fought some of the best fighters in the Lightweight and Jr. Welterweight divisions….as he beat Marion Thomas by a KO in 7th round…. Rocky Ramon by a decision in twelve…. Arturo Leon by decision in ten….Bruce Strauss by KO in the 3rd….Bobby Rodriguez by KO in one and others….as his fight with former United States Lightweight champion Norman Goins resulted in a three-round no contest….then he lost to Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr.. and Alfredo Escalera. On October 2 of 1980, at the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada….Termite got his only world title shot….when he lost to Saoul Mamby by a 15 round decision for the WBC world Jr. Welterweight title. He retired with 61 wins, 5 losses, 2 draws (tie), one no contest and 48 wins by knockout.
And all this lil ole chiweenie Sportsphile can say is that Termite Watkins is a lot like me…..small in size but packing a punch….I mean 48 KO’s out of 61 wins…..and 67 total times interring the ring….so, here’s to you Termite.