Wales and Its Boxers

The Fighting Tradition

Edited by Peter Stead and Gareth Williams

Wales and Its Boxers

Edited by Peter Stead and Gareth Williams

Distributed for University of Wales Press

192 pages | 13 color plates and halftones | 6 x 9
Cloth $25.00 ISBN: 9780708319154 Published February 2009 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Though few outside of its native borders associate the great Celtic nation of Wales with the gritty history of pugilism, Welsh fist-fighters have made their talent—and passion—for boxing unmistakable for centuries. Wales and Its Boxers traces this triumphant spirit through the lives of village heroes and national superstars such as “Peerless” Jim Driscoll and Freddie Welsh, commenting along the way on compelling cultural issues like masculinity, Welsh identity, and the changing face of the ringed spectacle. Here you’ll read the story of Jimmy Wilde, “The Mighty Atom,” who rose from a life in the Tylorstown coal pits to become – according to Ring magazine – the third greatest puncher of all time, as well as a Welsh legend. Moreover, you’ll discover why Wales currently has more registered boxers than any other region in Europe and how current boxing superstars like WBO champion Joe Calzaghe continue to fight under the banner of Welsh pride in this fascinating and peerless account of one nation’s love for sport and country.








‘A Brutal Passion’: Bare-knuckle Bruisers and Mountain Fighters

Gareth Williams


‘Peerless’: The Life and Legend of Jim Driscoll

Paul O’Leary


Freddie Welsh: Welsh American
Dai Smith


Jimmy Wilde, the ‘Tylorstown Terror’

Gareth Williams


Hero of the Darkest Years: Jack Petersen

Peter Stead


‘Call me Tommy’: Tommy Farr the Tonypandy Kid

Dai Smith


‘Boxing Mad’ in Cardi-land, 1945-1955

Hywel Teifi Edwards


Black and White: Writing on Fighting in Wales

Daniel G. Williams


Entry of the Heavyweights: Erskine and Richardson

Peter Stead


Boxing through the Shadows: Howard Winstone, Eddie Thomas and Johnny Owen

Desmond Barry


Big Mac and his Boys: The Professional Boxing Environment in South Wales c.1960-1990

Stephen Malcolm Williams


Mannesmann to Maccarinelli: Boxing in Swansea

Huw Richards


On the Cusp: Into the Calzaghe Era

Martin Johnes


Afterword: Fighting On

Peter Stead, Gareth Williams and Dai Smith



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