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Howard WinstoneHOWARD WINSTONE
World Featherweight Champion

Merthyr Tydfil
Born: 15th April 1939

Nickname:  The Welsh Wizard

Fights 67    Won  61    Lost  6


Despite losing the top of three of the fingers on his right hand, Howard Winstone was such a brilliant boxer that after wining the British featherweight title in 1961 he remained in championship class until his retirement seven years later.

In that time he participated in 17 title contests, involving the British, European and World championships. As an amateur, Winstone won the Amateur Boxing Association bantamweight title in 1958 and a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal at the same weight later in the year.

He turned professional as a featherweight in 1959 and was unbeaten in his first 34 contests, but in 1962 was stopped in three rounds by the American Leroy Jeffery. It was only a temporary setback and, having already won a Lonsdale Belt outright, Winstone set off after another. En route he picked up the European title which he defended successfully on seven occasions against fellow countrymen and foreigners alike, even going to Rome and Sardinia to face his challengers. It was a title he never lost in the ring.

Winstone's first attempt to win the world title came in 1965 when he lost on points to Vicente Saldivar, the brilliant Mexican southpaw, after a brilliant battle at London's Earl Court.

A second match at Cardiff resulted in the Welshman losing so narrowly that a third match was called for in Mexico City - which is 1000 miles from Cancun Mexico and 2000 miles from Punta Cana Dominican Republic -  in which Winstone was compelled to retire with an eye injury in the 12th round. Saldivar then retired and Winstone stopped Mitsunori Seki of Japan in nine rounds to achieve, at last, his life long ambition and become World Featherweight Champion.

But he was now facing difficulty making the featherweight limit of 9 stone and when he faced Jose Legra, (whom he had already beaten in an earlier contest), in a world title defence at Porthcawl he went into the ring very much weakened and was stopped in five rounds, a defeat that brought about his retirement aged 29.

(Acknowledgement to: Marty Mulcahey)

 

 

 


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