The boxers of wales
is the third of Gareth Jones' excellent books on Welsh
boxers...and once again what we have here are the stories of
hard men living hard lives, who stepped into the ring out of a
combination of economic necessity and a need for self-assertion.
Almost all the boxers discussed here are marginal, forgotten
figures, but that's the point, and cumulatively their stories
amount to a significant social history."
Darryl Jones, Boxing Monthly [full review available here]
Boxing News marked its centenary in 2009 by choosing the best
British boxer of the previous century, we opted for the one and
only Jimmy Wilde. But the Rhondda produced many other
outstanding fighters, as this book reminds us."
Tris Dixon, Editor, Boxing News
"When it comes to in-depth research, they don't come much
better than Gareth Jones - as his latest tome perfectly
illustrates, with a trawl through the Rhondda's staggering
boxing history. The likes of the great Tommy Farr and Jimmy
Wilde get the Jones treatment, along with a host of tales
surrounding so many boxers from this mining area that produced
such a rich seam of boxing greats."
Francis, Boxing Correspondent, Daily Star
"The name Rhondda once resounded around the world, carried
there by its incomparable steam coal and its reputation for
fiery politics. Yet, arguably, it has not been singers or
preachers or writers, nor even footballers of either soccer or
rugby fame, who have signalled the soul of Rhondda in the way
our boxers once did. So, seconds out, ding the bell, and with
Gareth Jones's latest literary bout with the Greats, we're back
in the ring again." Dai
Smith, Cultural Historian and Broadcaster
The Rhondda Valleys have always produced hard men. The
descendants of those who flocked there in the nineteenth century
to work in the expanding coalfield combined to form a special
kind of society, in which brawn and brain were equally
While the famous miners' institutes nurtured the intellect,
each village also had its gymnasium and these spawned some of
the fight game's most famous practitioners.
Jimmy Wilde was arguably the greatest British boxer of all time,
while a whole nation stayed up to listen to the radio commentary
of Tommy Farr's brave challenge to the legendary Joe Louis.
This book tells their stories, of course, but also those of more
than 40 others, including Wales's forgotten world champion,
Percy Jones, and two who wore the Lonsdale Belt, Tom Thomas and
With dozens of illustrations, many seen here for the first time,
this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the
is a journalist who has been writing and broadcasting on boxing
in Wales for nearly 40 years, including over 15 years as
Boxing Correspondent of the South Wales Echo, and a longer
period as Welsh Correspondent of Boxing News.