Martyr Tudful - Merthyr Tydfil

British, Empire &
European Welterweight Champion

Born  27 July 1926
The Merthyr Marvel



Turning pro / Welsh Title

After a brilliant amateur career during which he won the A.B.A. Lightweight title in 1946 Eddie Thomas turned professional, immediately recording 6 straight wins that year.  Two years later Eddie secured his first title by taking the Welsh  welterweight championship in a 10 round decision over Jack Phillips. Prior to winning the Welsh title Eddie had lost two of his previous 14 fights but the confidence that comes with winning a title set him on the road to a winning streak of  22 fights which was to take in the championships of  Britain  and Europe.

British Title
Seven months after taking the Welsh title, Eddie Thomas was faced with his toughest opponent to date, Billy Graham.  A class fighter, Billy Graham was a major contender for the World welterweight title. However, Billy could not find an answer to Eddie's classic style, beautiful left hand and clever foEddie dethrones Henry Hallotwork, losing a 10 round decision to the Welshman. Eddie was truly on his way. Nine months later having achieved another 3 wins, most notably against Ernie Roderick who was a wonderfully skilled fighter, Eddie took the British title from reigning champion Henry Hall.  The British title fight was a closely fought affair with Eddie putting the champion on the canvas in the thirteenth round before having his arm raised as the new champion at the end of the 15 round fight. Elated by his win Eddie led the hordes of Welsh fans in singing 'Bless This House'. The Welsh are renowned for their singing and Eddie had a fine voice indeed. 

Empire Title
After another string of impressive wins Eddie headed for Johannesburg, South Africa to challenge Pat Patrick for his Empire welterweight title. A hard contest ensued with the strong champion taking the fight to his more skilful challenger. Eddie, boxing superbly made his superior skills tell. As the champion came at him, Eddie picked his shots intelligently, using a varied selection of punches to pick off the champion as he came in. As the fight progressed Eddie Thomas was looking more and more like the new champion he was to become. The end came in the 13th round. After being put down by a right hook, Pat Patrick took another tremendous right to the jaw and was counted out. Eddie Thomas now ruled the welterweight championships of Britain and the Empire.

European Title
 Michele Palermo, of Italy, was the European welterweight champion and the next opponent in Eddie's sights. Palermo had taken part in over 100 fights in which he had been stopped just once. Recognized as a real tough customer who adopted a forceful attacking style Palermo was going to be no pushover. So it was to some surprise that the European champion found himself on the canvas in the very first round. He got up immediately and proceeded to attack Eddie throughout the contest. But attack as he may, Eddie had all the answers and completely out boxed Palermo over the 15 round distance. The skilful Welshman was declared European welterweight champion.

Having beaten Antonio Monzon over 10 rounds in his next fight, Eddie made his first defense of his European title, in June 1951, against Frenchman Charles Humez. In a battling display having been cut over both eyes, Eddie was to see the championship slip from his grasp with a 15 round points decision going against him. Just four months later Wally Thom took Eddie's remaining titles in a fight that Eddie really should have won.  However, Eddie simply didn't do enough and Thom took the verdict.

Two World Championship successes 
Three years later having contested seven more fights - with mixed fortunes - Eddie Thomas hung up his gloves. This was only the beginning of another successful chapter in Eddie's  life. He went on to become an accomplished businessman (amongst varied business interests Eddie owned a coal mine), world renowned cutsman and was manager of both Howard Winstone and Ken Buchanan who both won World titles under Eddie's guidance. 


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