The next part looks at four more Boxing World Champions that Wales have produced. This article originally was published by topclassboxing.co.uk who kindly have agreed for me to republish for Y Ddraig.
Steve Robinson – World Featherweight Champion 1993-1995
Wales had to wait 25 years after Howard Winstone had been a World Boxing Champion, and the person who gained a World Title was Steve Robinson also at Featherweight like the man before him. Robinson was born in Cardiff and was somewhat of a journeyman at domestic level, when at short notice, due to a failed drugs test by Ruben Palacios, the WBO had to find an opponent for John Davison for the now vacant belt. Robinson who was a store man at the time for Debenhams was given the opportunity. Robinson beat Davison on points and became World Featherweight Champion. Robinson whose nickname then became “The Cinderella Man”, went onto defend the title on 7 occasions, he was a hard working worthy champion and much loved for his rags to riches story. He held the title for two years until he fought Prince Naseem Hamed in 1995, and was cruelly outclassed by a man who before he got too cocky and enjoyed the stardom too much, was a fantastic fighter. Robinson carried on fighting and even became European Featherweight Champion in 2001, he eventually retired the following year.
Robinson’s professional record was 51 fights, 32 wins, 17 losses and 2 draws.
Robbie Regan – World Bantamweight Champion 1996.
Robbie Regan was born in Caerphilly, most of his career was spent at Flyweight and won British and European titles at that weight. However, he was to beat Daniel Jiminez at Bantamweight in 1996 to become World Champion. Sadly, Regan was diagnosed shortly after becoming Champion with glandular fever, which meant a lengthy absence and had to vacate the belt. He failed a medical in 1998 due to a brain injury identified and was forced to retire. Regan’s professional record was 22 fights, 17 wins, 2 losses and 3 draws.
Joe Calzaghe – World Super Middleweight Champion 1997 – 2008
Joe Calzaghe was born in Newbridge, made his professional career in 1993. Had a few nicknames but most commonly known as “The Pride of Wales”. Calzaghe started his reign beating a very good World Champion in Chris Eubank, and would go onto reign for more than ten years and 21 successful defences, he is the longest standing Super Middleweight World Champion in history. One of his defences against Jeff Lacy I still believe was one of the greatest world title fights from a British boxer I have ever seen, Calzaghe was simply brilliant that night. Calzaghe retired in 2009 still undefeated after finally getting his hands on boxing greats such as Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jnr on his resume. Professional career ended at 46 fights, 46 wins.
Barry Jones – World Super Featherweight Champion 1997 – 1998
Barry Jones was born in Cardiff and started his professional career in 1992. In 1997 he was paired up with Colombian, Wilson Palacio, which Jones won on points to become World Champion. He was due to defend his title against Julien Lorcy which promised to be a decent pay day for Jones but during a medical, a brain scan showed up some problems and was forced to relinquish his title. After months of discussions and further tests, Jones was allowed to restart his boxing career, after only one return fight Jones was given an opportunity to win a World Title again against Brazilian, hard hitting Acelino Freitas. Unfortunately, Jones was unsuccessful and retired from boxing.
Jones finished his professional career with 20 fights, 18 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and will be back with third and final instalment where I select my top 5 Welsh Boxing World Champions of all time.