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Earlier than coaching greats like Winstone, Buchanan and Jones, Eddie Thomas was some fighter himself

Yesterday’s Heroes

EDDIE Thomas of Merthyr excelled at each stage of the game for round 40 years. He’ll nonetheless be remembered right now by veterans of the sport as an astute supervisor who ran a compact little steady from his workplace in an ice cream parlour in his hometown, nestled deep contained in the Welsh valleys.

Among the many many fantastic fighters Eddie steered to stardom have been all-time greats Howard Winstone, Ken Buchanan, and Colin Jones. He had a number of different fighters all through the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, together with Eddie Avoth, the British light-heavyweight champion between 1969 and 1971, and Carl Gizzi, who challenged for the British heavyweight title in 1969. 

Colin Jones – Motion Photos/Sporting Footage

As a fighter Eddie was rated world quantity two at welterweight within the January 1951 challenge of the Ring journal. To indicate how nice an achievement this was, the one man that stood above him was Sugar Ray Robinson.

Like most nice boxers from this era, Eddie was an excellent novice. Regardless of holding down a tricky job as a coalminer, he gained the Welsh light-weight championship in 1946 and adopted that up with victory on the ABAs 5 weeks later. Ten thousand followers crammed into the Empire Pool, Wembley, to see these championships and Eddie gained via in contests towards the Scottish entrant, T Fraser, after which the military champion, Ernie Thompson. Two weights above Eddie, 17-year-old Randolph Turpin was profitable at middleweight. Eddie and Randolph teamed up once more later that month as the 2 lads each gained for the ABA in a 5-3 victory towards a robust workforce from the USA.

Eddie wasted no time in turning skilled. He gained his first contest simply six days after representing the ABA, and he beat Ivor Simpson of Basingstoke in a four-rounder on a Jack Solomons promotion at Harringay Enviornment. Prime of the invoice that evening was a 12-rounder at heavyweight between Bruce Woodcock and Freddie Mills. Eddie was already competing alongside exalted firm, and with high London supervisor Sam Burns taking care of his pursuits, his path to the highest was to be well-planned. 

He gained his first 10, with contests going down both on high London reveals or within the small halls of South Wales, the place he was constructing a robust following. A cut-eye defeat to Yrjoe Piitulainen of Finland put the brakes on slightly and an extra loss, in March 1948, towards seasoned fellow-Welshman Gwyn Williams in a British welterweight eliminator, brought about his workforce to cease and assume slightly.

Eighteen straight victories then put issues proper and helped Eddie to maneuver from UK quantity 5 to world quantity two and a potential match with Sugar Ray. Alongside the way in which, Eddie picked up the British title. After beating veteran Ernie Roderick in an eliminator, Eddie then beat Henry Corridor and Cliff Curvis in title bouts to achieve two notches on a Lonsdale belt.

Sadly, Jack Solomons couldn’t full the negotiations for a world title contest, as Robinson was making good cash at middleweight and turning into a two-weight world champion. As an alternative, Eddie needed to make do with the Commonwealth title after which the European title, which he gained on the Market Corridor, Carmarthen, of all locations.

Eddie was now on the peak of his profession and each the Board and the EBU recognised his subsequent contest, a European defence towards Frenchman Charles Humez, as a world title eliminator. As soon as once more, Eddie defended in his native Wales, this time at Porthcawl, however he got here off second finest, with BN reporting that Humez gave “a bustling exhibition of sturdy two-handed preventing that proved an excessive amount of for Thomas. Eddie by no means gave the impression to be snug earlier than the fury of his redoubtable opponent”.

He boxed on for 3 extra years, dropping his British title and, due to this fact, the possibility of an outright Lonsdale Belt, however he then achieved a lot else as a supervisor. One of many best Welsh fighters, Eddie died in 1997, aged 71.

John Anderson
John Anderson
John Anderson is a seasoned sports journalist with over 15 years of experience covering the NFL, NBA, and MLB. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, John has worked with ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and The New York Times. His insightful analysis and in-depth reporting have earned him multiple awards in sports journalism.


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