'Terrible' Terry Norris
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Born on 17th June 1967 in Lubbock, Texas. He had to leave his hometown as he was involved in a brawl during a baseball game, where he was stabbed by a masked assailant in a night club and shot at. "If I'd stayed, I'd probably be in a pine box."
He left for the KO Corral boxing ranch in California, run by Joe Sayatovich, so he could be with his elder brother Orlin. Terry was the more gifted boxer of the two as he oozed natural talent. Where Orlin was cursed as being too small for a heavyweight and too big for the cruiserweight division.
Terry Norris turned professional on 02nd August 1986 against Jose Luis Cordova who was also making his debut. He went 12-0 before losing a ten round unanimous decision to Derrick Kelly. He bounced back against Edward Neblett, but lost his discipline in November 1987 and got disqualified for hitting opponent Joe Walker, whilst he was down.
Eight wins later he lost his first world championship shot to the hard punching Julian Jackson. Norris boxed well for the first round, but halfway through the second round a wicked right from the champion relieved him of his senses. He was out on his feet as Jackson followed up with a couple more shots to put Norris down for the count.
Another three victories and by March 1990, he got another title shot, this time against another big hitter, John Mugabi. After his first title tilt, the Mugabi camp were pretty confident they would retain their WBC light-middleweight title by early stoppage.
Team Mugabi were correct about an early finish, but it was Norris who lifted the crown by stopping the Ugandan with thirteen seconds remaining in the first round.
On the 09th February 1991 he made the second defence of the crown against come-backing 'Sugar' Ray Leonard at Madison Square Garden, in New York. He floored the thirty-four year old twice on route to a wide points decision. Norris beat other world champions, Don Curry, the former undisputed welterweight champion, Meldrick Taylor and Maurice Blocker.
A huge money fight with Mexican great Julio Cesar Chavez went down the pan when he lost his title to the former welterweight champion Simon Brown, from Jamaica via a fourth round KO in Mexico on 18th DEC 1993.
The rematch saw Norris put in a brilliant display as he out pointed Brown to regain the title.
Norris was then disqualified twice, losing his belt to Luis Santana. The first time was for rabbit punching, in the rematch he caught Santana after the bell and lost again by disqualification. In the third meeting Norris finally got things right and stopped his foe in the second round on the 19th August 1995, making him a three-time light-middleweight champion.
A month later he defended his belt against David Gonzalez, winning by a ninth round TKO. On the 16th December 1995 he won a landslide points decision adding the IBF strap to his WBC bauble by beating Paul Vaden.
He won six more defences in two years, but lost his WBC title to Keith Mullins on 06th December 1997. Norris should've retired but in November 1998 had his 25th and final world title fight when he challenged WBA light-middleweight champion Laurent Boudouani. Becoming a four time champion wasn't to be as he lost by a ninth round TKO, in France.
'Terrible' Terry Norris retired at the age of thirty-one with a record of 47-9 (31 KO's) and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.
All the best fight fans