In 1937, Maurice was approached by someone to become a wrestler. He agreed and soon became the main event in many boxing rings. Nicknamed The French Angel, he remained undefeated for 19 months at the peak of his career. He captured the world heavyweight championship not once but twice. Maurice boxed until 1953 and passed away the following year of a heart condition.
In 1950, sculptor Louis Linck befriended Maurice and made a series of busts to commemorate his wrestling career. One bust sits in the Chicago International Museum of Surgical Science.
In 2001, DreamWorks created Shrek, a kind hearted ogre who bore a striking resemblance to Maurice Tillet. Both had the enlarged bald head, the cauliflower ears and the toothy smile. Both also had a kind heart, evident in the nickname The French Angel.