The world of British boxing is paying its respects to boxing promoter Mickey Duff who died at the age of 84 over the weekend. Duff managed and promoted a host of world champions when he dominated the world of British professional boxing from the 1960s to the 1980s.Duff’s main rival, Frank Warrens, said in an interview following Duff’s death, “our differences never stopped the admiration I had for him as one of the most, if not the most, influential figures British boxing has seen.”
Another promoter, Barry Hearn, described Duff as “legendary” while the London ex-boxers association described his death as “the end of a golden era”.
Duff was born in Tarnow Poland in 1929 as Monek Prager and arrived in east London during the 1930s.
During World War Two he was evacuated to a Jewish hostel where he met other refugee kids one of whom had a pairs of boxing gloves. Duff reportedly put the gloves on and immediately pummelled the owner. He then stole a letterhead from his headmaster’s desk, forged a signature and entered a schoolboy boxing competition.
Over the years Duff worked with boxers such as Jim Watt, Barry McGuigan, Lloyd Honeyghan, Alan Minter and Frank Bruno.