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By George Reed
Never beaten and still champion
An article I wrote recently raised some doubt amongst boxing fans regarding the truth of the facts.

Terry Marsh
Terry Marsh
© Laura Conenery

14.02.2012 - I had written that from the time during the transitional period from bare-knuckle to boxing glove up to the present time only nine men in professional boxing out of the 1,000s who have held world titles have retired as world champions and unbeaten an in their careers.  Yes surprisingly most of the names of the fighters who achieved this feat wont mean a think to anyone but the most dedicated fans.  In fact the first two to accomplish the notable feat and retire unbeaten and still world champions retired over 100 years ago.  Jack McAuliffe was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1866 and after moving to America he reigned supreme as world champ at lightweight from 1885 to 1896 while Jimmy Barry from Chicago was unbeaten in 68 fights from 1891 to 1899 when bantamweight king, before hanging up his glovers when still the title holder. It would be some 56 years before any other fighter in any weight division would equal the feat and as it turned out it would be the first and to this day the only heavyweight to join the elite bank, the Brockton Bockbuster, Rocky Marciano. 
Many who had known him claimed that ht was the most modest of men, a faultless husband and a dutiful father who never swore, never got angry and never did anything but be nice to everyone.  However Rocky was certainly no saint inside a boxing ring.  He was devastating brutal and the disputable term killer instinct could have been coined in reference to Marciano in his famous bouts with Joe Louis and Jersey Joe Walcott and other lesser-known boxers whom he savagely and conclusively beat by way of a KO often when he was behind on points at the time.   I recall the Englishman Don Cockell doing well against him for eight rounds with his better boxing skills, until The Rock battered him against the ropes and broke every rule in the book and got away with it.. He hit Cockell when he was down on one knee, rabbit-punched him and elbowed him before the referee stopped the fight.  I believe if the fight had taken place anywhere else other than America Marciano would have been disqualified. 
However the fact remains that Rocky was certainly one of the best, one of the most determined and gamest fighters ever with a punch in either hand which spelt knock-out. After he retired unbeaten while still world heavyweight champion he was killed in a place crash on the eve of his 46th birthday.
If Maricano was the best known name of the small group of boxers to attain the status, then Englands Terry Marsh is one of the least known.  As an amateur, Marsh dreamed of becoming the only English world champion to go through his entire professional career without ever losing a fight.   Marsh won the IBF light welterweight world title by stopping the American title holder Joe Manley in the 10th round in a contest in March 1987 which was staged in a circus tent in Marshs hometown of Basildon, Essex.  Marsh was really up for this fight in front of his home crown and shook the champion by becoming a two-fisted brawler on the night and Manley never knew what hit him.  He retired after successfully defending his title, fulfilling his dream of never being defeated, with the addition of still holding his world title at the time.
Frank Warren was his manager and promoter during his career but less than three years after his retirement Marsh would be arrested for the attempted murder of Warren. But he was tried and acquitted.  A few years ago at the age of 52 Marsh standing as an MP changed his name by deed poll to None of the Above X whe contesting the South Basildon and East Thurrock seat in Essex.  Marsh stated, there isnt a box that says None of the Above, so I thought Id have to do it.Boxing really is a funny old game.

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Terry Marsh 
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