"This is the third of Gareth Jones' excellent books on Welsh boxers...and once again what we have here are the stories of hard men living hard lives, who stepped into the ring out of a combination of economic necessity and a need for self-assertion. Almost all the boxers discussed here are marginal, forgotten figures, but that's the point, and cumulatively their stories amount to a significant social history."
Darryl Jones, Boxing Monthly [full review available here]
"When Boxing News marked its centenary in 2009 by choosing the best British boxer of the previous century, we opted for the one and only Jimmy Wilde. But the Rhondda produced many other outstanding fighters, as this book reminds us."
Tris Dixon, Editor, Boxing News
"When it comes to in-depth research, they don't come much better than Gareth Jones - as his latest tome perfectly illustrates, with a trawl through the Rhondda's staggering boxing history. The likes of the great Tommy Farr and Jimmy Wilde get the Jones treatment, along with a host of tales surrounding so many boxers from this mining area that produced such a rich seam of boxing greats."
Kevin Francis, Boxing Correspondent, Daily Star
"The name Rhondda once resounded around the world, carried there by its incomparable steam coal and its reputation for fiery politics. Yet, arguably, it has not been singers or preachers or writers, nor even footballers of either soccer or rugby fame, who have signalled the soul of Rhondda in the way our boxers once did. So, seconds out, ding the bell, and with Gareth Jones's latest literary bout with the Greats, we're back in the ring again." Dai Smith, Cultural Historian and Broadcaster
The Rhondda Valleys have always produced hard men. The descendants of those who flocked there in the nineteenth century to work in the expanding coalfield combined to form a special kind of society, in which brawn and brain were equally respected.
While the famous miners' institutes nurtured the intellect, each village also had its gymnasium and these spawned some of the fight game's most famous practitioners.
Jimmy Wilde was arguably the greatest British boxer of all time, while a whole nation stayed up to listen to the radio commentary of Tommy Farr's brave challenge to the legendary Joe Louis.
This book tells their stories, of course, but also those of more than 40 others, including Wales's forgotten world champion, Percy Jones, and two who wore the Lonsdale Belt, Tom Thomas and Llew Edwards.
With dozens of illustrations, many seen here for the first time, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the square ring.
Gareth Jones is a journalist who has been writing and broadcasting on boxing in Wales for nearly 40 years, including over 15 years as Boxing Correspondent of the South Wales Echo, and a longer period as Welsh Correspondent of Boxing News.