Top Ten Welsh Boxers Who Suffered the Most from Bad Luck

A list of 10 boxers from Wales who suffered bad luck, in one or another, some their own doing. When boxing came into being Wales was a hotbed of unlicensed fights around the villages of miners. They would fight until one could not walk. They had several boxers who were champions before the sport was legitimized, among the others who could of made list is Tommy Farr Ronnie James, Freddie Welsh Eddie Morgan and Jack Petersen to name a few. not best 10 but those who were to suffer misfortune.
The Top Ten
1 Percy Jones

Flyweight world champion, who had his first legal fight in 1911 at age 19, although he had been bare-knuckle fighting for a while. He won the world title in 1914, but WWI broke out, and he joined the Welsh Fusiliers. While at the Battle of the Somme, he was injured. He refused a stretcher, leaving it free for others. Although he managed to crawl back to the trench, the wound had become infected, resulting in amputation. He died in 1922, one day short of his 30th birthday.

2 Tom Thomas

Born in 1880, he was often fighting in booths from a young age. Although suffering from rheumatism, which kept him sidelined for much of his career, he remained unbeaten. He was due to fight the Michigan assassin Stan Ketchel, but Ketchel was murdered, so the fight didn't happen.

A man loved by his community, he went over the mountain to give a benefit for a child. On his way home, a storm erupted, and the wet conditions along with his rheumatism caused his death at age 31.

3 Johnny Owen

The matchstick man looked so thin you would think he would drop if you blew on him, but the strength of the man made him nearly impossible to beat. He never touched the canvas. He was offered a world title fight against the Mexican Lupe Pintor, who had wrestled the title from the great Carlos Zarate.

The fight was held in LA, California, in 1980. The US media ridiculed his build but were in awe of his start. By the 5th round, both of Pintor's eyes were split, but in the 9th, Owen went down for the first time. He came back in the 10th and 11th, but in the 12th, he got hit and never recovered, dying 2 months later. A scan revealed he had a thin skull. He was 24 and had never been with a woman. All he would say was when I retire. A statue was unveiled in the tough town of Merthyr where he grew up, and it was unveiled by Pintor.

4 Jimmy Wilde

You may wonder what one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in history is doing here. After retirement, he came back to Wales, and at the age of 70+, he was mugged by some scumbag at Cardiff train station. He spent the last years of his life in the hospital, where he died.

5 Nipper Pat Daly

It's unbelievable to think he retired at 17 years of age after he had fought 120 registered bouts. He was destined to be world champion if it wasn't for the greed of his manager, Mr. Newton. By the age of 15, he had put Daly into 70 fights. He was completely burnt out by 17. Only 12 months earlier, he became the youngest person to be ranked in Ring magazine's top 10 list.

He ended up with 11 losses on his record, but he had been fighting grown men since he was 14, and his last year was a disaster.

6 Howard Winstone

Howard Winstone was a successful brawler fighter until he lost most of three fingers on one hand. As he lost his destructive punching ability, he totally adapted to a new style, eventually winning the world title late in his career.

The great Angelo Dundee said after Winstone had beaten Baby Luis, If I had him, I would make millions. He was the nearest fighter Dundee had seen to the great Willie Pep.

7 Jim Driscoll

Recognized as world champion in Europe but not in America where they had the No Contest rule, Jim Driscoll went to the US in 1908. By this time, he had an unbeaten pro record and nearly 600 fights in the booths. In America, the media were skeptical until he started fighting.

He went across states, losing two by newspaper decision. In 1909, he fought Attel for the world title, but the Americans insisted on the No Contest rule, meaning Driscoll had to knock Attel out to win the title. Driscoll beat him quite easily in the bout, but Attel kept his title, except in Europe where Driscoll was recognized as champion.

The next day, the media clamored for a rematch, but Gentleman Jim refused to break a promise he made to an orphanage in Wales where he grew up, a very poor region. He performed each year for charity for the orphanage and swore never to break his word. He never quite reached the same heights again, as he started drinking.

8 Robbie Reagan

After moving up in weight to bantamweight, he won the world title against Danny Jiminez. He had been the number one contender at flyweight when he moved up. The opportunity he had waited for to get out of poverty was spoiled when he failed his MRI scan and was forced to retire while at his peak. He was later jailed.

9 Barry Jones

Like Reagan, Barry Jones won the world title but never defended it due to problems with a brain scan. His title was given to someone else. Even though Jones appealed and won, he only fought once more, losing his first-ever fight before retiring.

10 David Pearce

David Pearce died at the age of 41. Boxing News called him incomparable. He retired after a brain scan showed irregularities, which was probably the epilepsy, along with poverty and Alzheimer's that killed him in 2000. He fought at heavyweight but was really a cruiserweight. Among his wins was a knockout of future world champ Dennis Andries.

David was a true gentleman and an awesome fighter. Brave, strong, and fearless, I had the honor of working as his sparring partner for a while. Bless you, Yukka, and your wonderful family.

Love and respect always,
Dave Townsend

The Contenders
11 Lee Selby

Won a prize, then had to teach primary school children how to skip. I went to that primary school, so I should know.

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