Boxing Only

Paul Pender

Paul Pender Profile Image
  • Nickname: None
  • Date of Birth: 20th June 1930
  • Died: 12th January 2003 (72 years old)
  • Career length: 13 years 2 months
  • Status: Deceased
  • Nationality: USA Flag USA
  • Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, USA Flag Brookline, Massachusetts, USA
  • Residence: Brookline, Massachusetts, USA Flag Brookline, Massachusetts, USA
  • Division: Middleweight
  • Height: 178cm
  • Reach: 183cm
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • BoxRec: Paul Pender
  • Debut: 28th January 1949


Paul Pender was a distinguished American boxer and firefighter from Brookline, Massachusetts. Born on June 20, 1930, Pender's early life was marked by his athletic prowess, particularly in boxing, where he excelled as an amateur and captured the New England welterweight championship. Despite receiving recruitment offers for football from prestigious universities, Pender chose to pursue professional boxing while attending Staley College. His commitment to his community was evident in his prioritisation of his firefighting career, which he considered his primary job, over his boxing career.

Pender's professional boxing career was highlighted by his victory over the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson, which earned him the disputed middleweight championship title in 1959. This victory came when the National Boxing Association had withdrawn its recognition of Robinson as the middleweight champion. Pender's win by split decision in 15 rounds against Robinson marked the beginning of his reign as middleweight champion. He successfully defended his title against Robinson in a rematch, solidifying his status as a world-class fighter.

Pender's rivalry with English boxer Terry Downes also defined his career. A series of three matches showcased his boxing skills. Winning both the first and third bouts against Downes, Pender demonstrated his resilience and determination in the ring. However, his career was plagued by injuries to his hands, which ultimately influenced his decision to retire.

On May 7, 1963, Pender retired as the reigning world middleweight champion, leaving behind a legacy of 40 wins, six losses, and two draws. His life outside the ring as a dedicated firefighter further exemplifies his commitment to serving his community. Paul Pender passed away on January 12, 2003, in Bedford, Massachusetts, leaving a lasting legacy in the boxing world and his local community. His life and career remain a testament to his athletic skill, dedication, and service.