Blogs & Opinion


Jim Watt pays tribute to the late Mickey Duff and the part he played in his world title success

Features Posted 25th March 2014 view comments

I was sad to learn that Mickey Duff had passed away but the one thing that will stick in my mind is the way he enjoyed every minute of his life.

Mickey was fortunate enough to have spent his life working in the sport and business he loved.

Understandably in the last few years he was never the man of old but what a life he had led in boxing down the years. He played a big part in my career, so it is extremely sad to lose him.

Duff was influential and lived life to the full, says Jim

Duff was influential and lived life to the full, says Jim

We had been friends for years but to be honest I rarely saw Mickey once I'd retired. Even when I started commentating, I was working for ITV and he was already with the BBC, so we were never at the same shows.

It meant it was hard to keep the friendship going but nothing changed, so when we would meet up it was always good to have a catch-up.

Mickey always backed up his side of things and always gave you what he'd promised - and sometimes a little bit more!

Jim Watt
Quotes of the week

It was usually at the Boxing Writers' Club annual awards or another dinner or show and we were always delighted to see each other.

We were never the closest of friends but he was a big, big part of my success and I shall never forget that.

When I started out I had a Scottish manager and I wasn't really getting the opportunities I was looking for, but Terry Lawless and Mickey had a great relationship between them and once I went with Terry all of a sudden I was fighting on Mickey's shows.

It means I had access to the big shows and the first time I fought under Terry it was at the Royal Albert Hall against George Turpin, along with Dave Boy Green and Maurice Hope. It showed immediately just how powerful Mickey could be

He was not a trainer but when you had him in your corner you knew you could go places. All of a sudden you were talking with or about the WBC for example, because Mickey had a voice that would be heard.

And as long as I kept winning, Mickey did his bit and got me that world title chance.

Influential

Roberto Duran hadn't made lightweight for a long time and moved up to welterweight so I got to fight for the vacant title.

I was ranked number two and Alfredo Pitalua was the number one but I fought for it in Glasgow and won the world title. A major factor was that I had the clout of Mickey behind me.

I needed an influential promoter to get me where I wanted to go and while there is no way I'd have won that world title without Lawless, Mickey also played a huge part and I will never forget him for that.

Terry was the type that would always go to the gym and although I did spend time with Mickey in the run-up to fights, he was always here, there and everywhere, flying the world.

He was never in the gym but he was involved in every single aspect of the game: from a boxer to a cornerman, right through to an agent and promoter.

He was a shrewd and hard businessman - some people never have a good word to say about promoters but I did when it came to Mickey.

He would drive a hard bargain but once the deal was done, he always backed up his side of things and he always gave you what he'd promised - and sometimes a little bit more!

I am glad I had the relationship I had with him and I am glad he had such a terrific life. I have lots of fond memories of Mickey Duff.

Rest in peace.

back to top

Other Experts:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....

comments

Andy Walker

Walker: Celtic 'shocking'

Ronny Deila’s hopes of winning over the club’s fans took a big blow in Poland, says Andy Walker....

Guillem Balague

Balague: Barca training tough

Guillem Balague says Barcelona’s stars will suffer gruelling double sessions during their week at Burton....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....

comments

Ray Wilkins

Wilkins: Rooney for captain

Ray Wilkins says Wayne Rooney is the "standout candidate" for the England captaincy....

Barrie vs Terry

Barrie v Terry

Barrie McDermott and Terry O'Connor go head-to-head with their Super League predictions......

Mike Atherton

Fan favourite

Test newbie Jos Buttler's electric batting can re-energise English cricket supporters, says Mike Atherton. ...

Alex Hammond

Royal week of racing

Alex Hammond shares tips for the Galway Festival and Glorious Goodwood - where Captain Cat is among her selections....

Alex Hammond

Eagle Top-ing it

Alex Hammond tips her winners for the weekend's racing, including the Queen Elizabeth Stakes....

View from America

Draft developments

Simon Veness reviews the aftermath and fallout from an exhausting, rollercoaster 2014 NFL draft....

comments

Neal Foulds

Selby steel

New world champion Mark Selby's the master of match play, says Neal Foulds - but what's next for Ronnie?...

comments

Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....

comments

Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......

comments

Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....

comments

Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....

comments

Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...

0 comments

Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....

2 comments

Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....

0 comments