Born: May 14, 1976
Town: Trenton, New Jersey
Terrance Davin Cauthen was born May 14, 1976 in Trenton. He was drawn to boxing as a young boy and started at age 9. His enthusiasm for boxing intensified in 1984, after Philadelphians Meldrick Taylor and Tyrell Biggs won gold at the Los Angeles Olympics. At the age of 10, Terrance began training at Joe Frazier’s gym in Philadelphia, taking the train between Trenton and Philly.
Over the next few years, Terrance grew to 5’9” and 130 pounds. He befriended Zahir Raheem (a bantamweight) and David Reid (a light middleweight). All three set their sights on the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. Unlike many young boxers, Terrance graduated from high school. He was a good enough student to be accepted at Temple University.
Terrance took an important step toward the Olympics in 1995, when he was crowned U.S. amateur lightweight champion. By this time Terrance was living in Philadelphia, working construction jobs to support two children (one adopted, another he had at age 15) with his wife, Keisha. They had a second child together in 1996. In the spring of that year, Terrance and his buddies Zahir and David qualified for the U.S. Olympic team.
The three Philadelphians had mixed results in Atlanta. Raheem lost in the second round, Reid scored a dramatic one-punch knockout to win gold and Terrance made it to the semifinals, where he lost to Tontcho Tontchev of Bulgaria—but took home the bronze medal.
After the Olympics, Terrance turned pro and won his first 15 bouts. He got a shot at the light welterweight crown in 1999, but lost to Teddy Reid. Terrance bounced back to run his record to 26–1, including a victory over Franco Ogentho in 2002 to won the light welterweight title.
Terrance was a quick and graceful left-handed fighter, but prone to bad habits. He tended to slap instead of turning his punches over. He did not really have a knockout punch. His ability to deliver rapid-fire punches earned him the nickname Heat. As he gained experience, he learned how to outwit opponents he could not outpunch.
Terrance lost back-to-back fights in 2005 to Dairo Esalas and Paul Williams. He won back the light welterweight championship in 2007 but his reflexes began to slow after that. He lost 5 of 9 fights between December 2007 and May 2012. His final record was 36–8 with 8 knockouts.