Best Boxers from Wales in Boxing History:
Take a look at the top 5 boxers in history from Wales. There have been a number of high quality Welsh professionals over the years, and while one stands out in recent memory, he’s not the best of all-time on this tough to crack best of list.
[Also See: The 5 best performances by Welsh boxers]
- Jimmy Wilde (Career: 1910-1923): Widely considered the hardest pound-for-pound puncher in the history of the sport, despite being one of the tiniest fighters ever. At one point, his record stood at 124-1-2. Dominated the scene in the U.K., where many top flyweights plied their trade, creating unprecedented separation between him and his peers. Also beat several leading bantamweights, including Hall of Famer Memphis Pal Moore and a pair of wins over all-time top-ten bantie Joe Lynch—all while barely weighing 100 pounds. A fighter for the ages.
- Freddie Welsh (Career: 1905-1922): A man with great speed and skills, Welsh reigned as Lightweight Champion from 1914-1917. At 21, fought a draw with 49-0 Packey McFarland and added a win over Abe Attell the same year. In 1910, drew again with McFarland and beat fellow Welsh immortal Jim Driscoll. Started grinding in the States, compiling a long unbeaten streak. Beat Lightweight Champion Willie Ritchie for the title in 1914 and continued to produce great results, including two wins over Midget Wolgast and a dominating NWS decision over legendary Benny Leonard.
- Joe Calzaghe (Career: 1993-2008): A uniquely skilled fighter, Calzaghe blended blazing fast hands with great fighting instincts and spirit to a 46-0 career record and a decade-long run as WBO Super Middleweight Champion. Beat good fighters like Chris Eubank, Robin Reid, Richie Woodhall, and Charles Brewer. But really enjoyed a late-career revival, with a romp over favored Jeff Lacy and wide decisions over Sakio Bika and Mikkel Kessler. Win over Roy Jones made little impact, but a decision over Bernard Hopkins keeps looking better, with Calzaghe being the only man to really appear to “beat” Hopkins in recent memory.
- Jim Driscoll (Career: 1901-1919): Featherweight great’s first important work came with a pair of wins over faded featherweight great George Dixon. Dominated an ultra-demanding era of U.K. talent, while notching wins over Americans like great Featherweight Champion Abe Attell—who he defeated in a NWS decision in New York City in 1909. Unfortunately, the title was not on the line. Had one legitimate defeat in 1904, with his other 2 defeats being a DQ loss to lightweight champ Freddie Welsh and a loss after he returned after a 6-year retirement at almost 40 years of age. “Peerless” Jim was the real deal.
- Willie Davies (Career: 1924-1933): “Wee Willie” was born in Wales, but most of his appearances came stateside. Possesses a lot of gems on his resume. On his way up, scored multiple wins over Corporal Izzy Schwartz, Black Bill, and all-time greats Newsboy Brown and Midget Wolgast. Added wins over Hall of Famer Frankie Genaro and a few more wins over Black Bill before losing his touch.
Hopefully you enjoyed our list of the best boxers from Wales in the history of the sport. Think Calzaghe should be higher on the list? See anyone that wasn’t included? Let us know and chime in with your own thoughts.