The 10 greatest lightweights of all time

Tony Connolly, with his weekly column, this week asks Birmingham Mail boxing journalistic legend Mike Lockley to name the 10 greatest lightweights of all time

9. Freddie Welsh

Born in Pontypridd in 1886, Welsh was one of the few British fighters to conquer America.

He made his debut in Philadelphia in 1905 and beat Willie Ritche for the title nine years later.

Welsh, one of the few vegetarian world champs – a dietary decision deemed bizarre in the early 1900s – may have been dubbed a “snowflake puncher” by the American press, but he beat the very best in a 168-bout career. Legends who lost to Welsh included Benny Leonard, Ad Wolgast, Abe Attell and Jim Driscoll. He died in poverty in 1927, aged only 41.



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