Maurice “Termite” Watkins is a fighter – today in his everyday life and during his former boxing career. Defying skepticism at a young age about his physical stature, he became the youngest national Golden Gloves champion at the age of 16. He then competed for the world title in a double event at Caesars Palace that included the Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes fight. As an epitome of resilience, Termite Watkins continued to perserve in other endeavors even after he retired from boxing.

After the life changing events of September 11, Termite Watkins left his lucrative sales job to follow his heart to serve his country. Picking up the pesticide trade that he acquired from his father while growing up, he aided the U.S. military in Iraq by safeguarding them from desert pests. He was immensely popular among the military camps for his boxing career, encouraging character, and fortitude. With that in mind, Ambassador Mike Gfoeller presented Termite Watkins an opportunity to train the Iraqi Olympic team for the 2004 Olympics. This was no easy feat, as Iraq had not participated in the Olympics for decades. Inspired by the drive and courage that the Iraqi athletes demonstrated, Termite Watkins remained undeterred despite the Iraqi team’s lack of athletic ability. His and the team’s successes were covered worldwide by numerous media outlets, illustrating the heart that they had to have in order to overcome all the obstacles.

Termite Watkin’s continuing life story and tremendous experiences have been retold in Suzy Pepper’s book, Termite. A major motion film based on an adaptation of this book is slated to debut in 2020.