Story of a Golden Gloves champ will make it to the Silver Screen
Maurice "Termite" Watkins, became the youngest ever National Golden Gloves boxing champion at age 16 and earned 128 amateur victories and compiled a 58- 5-2 record, including 48 KO's, as a professional, reports Michael Ireland, chief correspondent, ASSIST News Service.
In 1980 Watkins lost a hard-fought decision for the world championship on the same bill as Mohammed Ali's last championship fight.
In 2003 Termite left a six-figure job with a Houston car dealership to volunteer as a civilian pest exterminator serving the U.S. Military in Iraq, only to be recruited by the regional director of the Coalition Provisional Authority to coach a rag-tag team of Iraqi boxers for the 2004 Olympics, then only a few months away.
Now a movie about Termite is in the works.
Karen Aasand (president) and Fred Kuehnert (producer) of California-based, faith and family film company, Paths Apart Productions LLC, returned from a recent trip to Texas confident that the feature film, "Termite's Path" will get made.
The movie is a biopic of the Iraq experiences of former Golden Gloves champ, professional boxer and Olympic boxing coach Termite Watkins, a Houston native.
"I could not have imagined a more promising start to a project," said Ms. Aasand. "Everybody we met with was moved by the inspirational story- especially the hundreds of people who've known Termite since forever."
In addition to receiving financing commitments for the Termite project, Paths Apart, according to Aasand, generated substantial interest in the company overall. "We've got a winning concept," she said of the firms plan to develop a "portfolio" of faith-based films for the direct-to-DVD and TV market, "and the people we met in Texas really got it."
"This is a compelling story that needs to be told and the world will benefit when it is made," says producer and former Houstonian Fred Kuehnert. His film credits include "The Buddy Holly Story" and recent Sci Fi Channel original movie "The Fallen Ones". A friend of Watkins for many years, even Kuehnert was impressed with how much Watkins is treated like a hero in the hometown they share. "They really love and respect this guy."
The film is the inspirational true story of how two individuals, whose countries, and some would say their faiths, were at war with each other, overcame incredible obstacles, relying on their friendship and differing faiths, to achieve the ultimate athletic goal -- competing in the Olympics.
After the series of Texas meetings and based on discussions with industry veterans since returning to California, Aasand and Kuehnert believe this is a film whose timing could not be more perfect. "Termite's Path" is expected to begin production later in 2008.