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Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Thursday, 11 April 2002 14:02 UK

6. Percy Jones

By Sean Davies

Jones was Wales' first world champion, a fast and powerful flyweight who earned his title in one of the toughest eras of the sport's history.

Welsh ex-fighters remember boxing booths

Raised in a Porth mining family, he made his name in the boxing booths and at a local level, before going undefeated for the first 43 fights of his professional career.

His 42nd fight came at the National Sporting Club, London, on 26 January, 1914, where, at the age of 21, Jones claimed the World, European and British titles with a 20-round points win over England's Bill Ladbury.

Jones faced France's Eugene Criqui next, dropping a 15-round decision in a non-title bout at the Liverpool Stadium.

A rematch was made at the same venue six weeks later where - with his title on the line - Jones won a 20-round decision over future Hall of Famer Criqui.

Jones never again made the flyweight limit, his problems with the scales meaning he lost his titles outside the ring.

Two months after the Criqui win Jones was knocked out by Joe Symonds, but as this was over the flyweight limit he did not lose his world belt.


Knock-out wins in Wales followed, against George Reeves, Young Kendall and Billy Jones, before he was stopped in 14 rounds by Tancy Lee.

Jones moved up to bantamweight, but two fights in 1915 - a draw with Young Swift and a knock-out win over Ladbury - concluded his professional career, leaving an official record of 46 wins (27 knock-outs), three defeats (two by knock-out) and three draws.

In 1916, Jones was wounded in the leg and gassed while serving as a sergeant with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

After nearly 30 operations, his leg was amputated in 1918.

With his weight reduced to just 4st 2lbs, Wales' first world champion died of trench fever on Christmas Day, 1922, one day short of his 30th birthday.

see also
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' greatest US fight nights
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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