The small working class town of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales has famously produced several boxing legends, perhaps none more famous than Howard Winstone (1939 to 2000). He was a boxer who was seriously disadvantaged when as a teenager he lost the tips off of three of his fingers in a factory accident. He had been a talented two-fisted amateur with an 83-3 record but had to drastically adapt his style to rely much more on throwing punches with his left fist.
Winston went on to win Gold in the Commonwealth games at bantamweight and became British Champion at featherweight and later the European Champion at featherweight, before winning a World Title in 1968 at the fourth attempt, he retired at the age of 29 after losing his belt in his first defense. Winston was awarded BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year three times whilst active in the ring, and an MBE after hanging up his gloves.
Welsh Greats: Howard Winstone is a 2012 documentary which tells the story of how Winston beat adversity to become World Champion. Following Winstone’s death a bronze sculpture of Winston was unveiled in St. Tydfil’s Square in Merthyr. The town also has a bronze status of another boxing legend from the town, Johnny Owen, who you can learn about in the documentary The Johnny Owen Story.