World boxing mourns loss of Belfast-born official Terry Smith
THE boxing world is mourning the loss of Belfast-born official Terry Smith, who died yesterday.
The 76-year-old’s love of the sport began in his home city - first lacing up gloves as a 10-year-old - and would continue when he relocated to Wales, eventually becoming an influential figure in amateur boxing at world level.
Between the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association, the European Boxing Council and world governing body AIBA, Smith held several important roles including AIBA executive committee member, technical delegate and compliance unit chair, as well as being a three star R&J, R&J instructor and honorary chairman of the R&J commission.
He remained a friend to boxing in Ireland too and, alongside then Ulster Council president Pat McCrory, played a major role in bringing the 2001 World Amateur Boxing Championships to Belfast – an event that showcased the talents of future world stars such as Guillermo Rigondeaux, David Haye and Carl Froch.
Holy Trinity head coach Michael Hawkins had known Smith for decades, and described his passing as “a big loss for boxing”.
“We were all over the world together, and at the Commonwealth Games the likes of Terry, Pat [McCrory], Jack Monaghan and Frank Hendry from Scotland, they kept the craic going,” said Hawkins.
“Terry was from the Grosvenor Road originally, so he always had that association with here and would always be there with his support. He was very well got at world level – there was nothing went past him, he was always very hands on with anything to do with Ireland.
“We’ve been lifelong friends, and it’s a sad loss to us all. Terry was a boxing man through and through.”
President Umar Kremlev led the tributes from AIBA, saying: “On behalf of myself and the entire boxing family, I would like to express my most heartfelt condolences and my deepest sympathy.
“He will always be remembered for his great passion and dedication to the improvement and development of boxing. Terry Smith achieved many successes in the course of a long and active career.
“His expertise and knowledge highly contributed to the benefit of AIBA and our beloved sport, and I am sure that the extensive legacy that he left will be cherished by AIBA members.”