Wales has certainly packed a punch when it comes to producing boxing talent over the years.

The country can boast a dozen professional world champions from Percy Jones through to Lee Selby, as well as countless winners of British, European and Commonwealth titles.

To mark the release of the final instalment in his series of books The Boxers of Wales later this month, we asked esteemed boxing writer and historian Gareth Jones to give us his top 10 fighters.

Let us know what you think of his list and how yours would compare.

So, in reverse order, it’s seconds out for the big rundown.

The National Wales:

10. Lee Selby (world, European, British, Commonwealth, Celtic and Welsh champion, 1987-)

Barry’s Selby has won pretty much everything available to him as a professional, with his crowning glory coming in May 2015 when he beat Evgeny Gradovich to claim the IBF world featherweight title.

“Selby didn’t just win a world title, he had a few good wins defending it,” said Jones.

The National Wales:

9. Tommy Farr (British, Empire and Welsh champion, and world title challenger, 1913-1986)

Mixed it with the best heavyweights in the world with many of his fights in the US, the Tonypandy Terror is best remembered for taking the legendary Joe Louis the distance in 1937.

“He was one of the world’s top heavyweights at a time when there were a lot of great heavyweights and there was only one world title available,” said Jones.

The National Wales:

8. Robbie Regan (world, European, British and Welsh champion, 1968-)

Caerphilly’s Regan was just 29 when he was forced to retire following a failed brain scan a few years after he became WBO bantamweight king on a memorable night in Cardiff in 1996.

“We never really got to find out how good Robbie might have been because he failed a brain scan after winning his world title,” said Jones.

The National Wales:

7. Steve Robinson (world, European and Welsh champion, 1968-)

The Cinderella Man and former Debenhams storeman from Cardiff won the WBO featherweight crown in 1993 at just two days’ notice.

“Perhaps he was a little lucky to get the chance to fight for the world title but he did so at very short notice and defended it against three former world champions,” said Jones.

The National Wales:

6. Colin Jones (European, British and Commonwealth champion, and world title challenger, 1959-)

Gorseinon’s finest shone on the domestic scene before two epic encounters with American Milton McCrory for the WBC world welterweight strap in 1983, drawing the first and losing the second narrowly.

“Drawing and holding McCrory to a tight points defeat in the US was a better achievement than some of the world title wins,” said Jones.

The National Wales:

5. Freddie Welsh (world, European, British, Welsh and English champion, 1886-1927)

North America was Welsh’s stomping ground for most of his 86-fight professional career, but it was in London in 1914 that he beat American Willie Ritchie to become world lightweight champion.

“He won the world title in London but nearly all of his fights were in the US and Canada. Sadly, he never fought in Wales at his prime,” said Jones.

The National Wales:

4. Jim Driscoll (European, British and Empire champion, 1880-1925)

‘Peerless’ never held a world title but many considered him the best featherweight on the planet after reporters at ringside gave him the decision over the then reigning champion Abe Attell.

"It was a no-decision bout (because boxing was technically illegal in some states. If Jim had KO'd Attell he would have become champion, but it wasn't declared no-contest because he didn't - it was billed as no-decision from the off," said Jones.

"That’s how Attell remained champion despite the fact Driscoll was the much better boxer during the fight.

“He famously headed back to Wales after that fight because he had promised to box in an exhibition bout for a Nazareth House orphanage fundraiser in Cardiff.”

The National Wales:

3. Howard Winstone (world, European and British champion, 1939-2000)

Merthyr Tydfil’s favourite son lost three world featherweight title fights to Mexican Vicente Saldivar before finally getting his hands on the belt against Japan’s Mitsunori Seki in 1968.

“Howard was an absolutely brilliant boxer. He lost the world title in his first defence but coming back from three defeats to Saldivar said everything about Howard,” said Jones.

The National Wales:

2. Joe Calzaghe (undefeated world and British champion, 1972-)

Calzaghe dominated the super-middleweight division during his decade-long reign at the top, before signing off with wins over American greats Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jnr at light-heavyweight.

“Not only was Joe the best in the world at one weight, but he then went on and beat two legends in Hopkins and Jones, which was a pretty fantastic achievement,” said Jones.

The National Wales:

1. Jimmy Wilde (world, European and British champion, 1892-1969)

The Ghost with the Hammer in his Hand from Quakers Yard, who reigned as the first world flyweight champion from 1916 to 1923, is often regarded as the greatest British boxer of all time.

“He beat people much bigger than him – he would knock them spark out! Boxing News reached its centenary in 2009 and Jimmy was voted as the greatest boxer ever.”

Honourable mentions – Dai Dower, Enzo Maccarinelli, Gavin Rees, Nathan Cleverly.

* The Boxers of North, Mid & West Wales, the seventh and final volume in the acclaimed Boxers of Wales series, is published on October 28 and available to pre-order from the publishers at

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