Inaugural ‘Welsh Boxing Annual’ book released to chronicle extraordinary season

Inaugural ‘Welsh Boxing Annual’ book released to chronicle extraordinary season

By Dewi Powell: A book has been released to tell the story of Welsh boxing in the extraordinary 2019-2020 season.

The inaugural Welsh Boxing Annual covers the ups and down of Wales’ professional boxers and elite amateurs as they unfold. A series of in-depth features, interviews and reports from ringside explore all of the important stories from across the country.

The book is written by Dewi Powell, who has reported on Welsh boxing for over a decade. He said: “The Welsh Boxing Annual provides a chronological timeline from the frontline of our sport on the local, national and international stages.

“It was an eventful year, both in and out of the ring, and it was important to record what will become history. The drama in the book starts instantly on the small hall scene and it spreads all the way to world level fights. Most of this was unexpected, especially the COVID-19 pandemic and its threat to Welsh boxing.

“In total, 25 people from across the Welsh boxing scene have been interviewed and the book spans a total of 67 fights. To shine a spotlight on their stories, and the sacrifices that underpin their success, will open the eyes of many whether they’re familiar with the realities of boxing in Wales or not.”

Andy Clarke, commentator for Sky Sports, said: “Boxing is a sport of record. It’s essential that good records are kept and for that you need chroniclers you can trust. And Dewi Powell is exactly that person. He doesn’t just tell you who won and by what method but also what happened, in what circumstances and what the result meant in a wider context. Having an annual like this is great for fighters and fans alike. I really hope it’s the first of many.”

Tris Dixon, journalist and host of Boxing Life Stories podcast, said: “The biggest mistake you can make about the Welsh Boxing Annual 2019-2020 is that it’s merely a record book. It’s more than that, it’s the definitive journey through the sport through 12 months covering all of boxing’s bases. Stories of ‘fixed fights’, world title contests, Olympic qualification, the impact of coronavirus, performance enhancing drugs, upsets, controversies and good, hard contests, it’s all in there in graphic detail with access to the country’s biggest names and a ringside seat to their biggest fights. Every chapter is different but equally illuminating. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that this book is only for aficionados of Welsh boxing. That does it a disservice. It’s a well-written diary of a year covering the dramatic highs and lows the sport always offers.”

The Welsh Boxing Annual features several controversial episodes from the season, including; performance enhancing drugs, questionable officiating, and claims of a fixed fight. A large section is also dominated by the disruption caused by COVID-19, and the book documents how boxing authorities and boxers themselves reacted to the strains of the pandemic.

However, there is plenty of positivity. The highlight is provided by the events that steered Ystrad Mynach’s Lauren Price to an historic gold medal at the World Amateur Championships. The journeys of several Welsh boxers – such as Barry’s Lee Selby, Clydach Vale’s Liam Williams and Swansea’s Jay Harris – to world title contention are also told.

The book honours the timescale of the traditional boxing season and captures the events from September 2019 to September 2020. That period of time includes away days in Europe for Cardiff’s Joe Cordina and Mountain Ash’ Tony Dixon, as well as the Olympic qualification rollercoaster for Caldicot’s Rosie Eccles and much more.

The Welsh Boxing Annual 2019-2020 is priced at £12.50 and available to buy at Click here to buy.

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