Welsh Greats - Howard Winstone.

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Welsh Greats - Howard Winstone.

Post  cliffyboy on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:32 pm

On BBC1 Wales 10.35pm this coming Monday Jan 23rd. Who can forget (us older ones!) his three epic contests against Mexican Vicente Saldivar for the World featherweight title. The first one took place in Sept 65 at Earls Court Arena London, Saldivar won on points in a tight contest. I remember Howard fighting Lennie "the lion" Williams in Port Talbot, Dec 66, a (very) large crowd went over from Merthyr "I was there" Lennie was a bit of a bruiser and wanted a toe to toe affair! Shouts of "box him" "box him Howard" was not needed Howard boxed his ears off and beat him easy In June 1967 he challenged Saldivar again at Ninian Park Cardiff losing on points over 15 rounds (Yes 15 in them days!) Saldivar's last round effort won it for him by half a point "I was there" - I still got the ticket stub! Four months later in Oct 67 he fought for the THIRD time against Saldivar, this time the contest took place in Mexico City, Howard went down im the 7th and 12th rounds before Eddie Thomas threw in the towel in the 12th, Howard was like a son to Eddie, he didn't want to see his boy taking a beating, I was 20 at the time, I was in tears!

After his latest successful defence of the title Saldivar announced his retirement, so in January 1968 Howard fought Japan's Mitsunori Seki for the vacant WBC World featherweight title at London's Royal Albert Hall, A large contigent from Merthyr were there, I was working at Arthur Parkers, bookies in Glebeland Street at the time (I started there in 1963) and went up to the smoke on the train with Les Barlow's dad Les senior and Dickie Vokes, we all worked at Parkers.
Howard stopped Seki in the 9th round due to a cut eye, and so finally gained a World title.Saldivar was in the audience to see his vacated title won by his old rival, the celebrations were fantastic in the bars after!

I had my 21st in the Eagle, bottom end of town in April 68 (Told it's not there now!) Bill Parry was the landlord at the time, a lot of the Parkers boys were there, most of them Howard Winstone fans.
In July 1968 Howard defended his title against Cuban Jose Legra at Coney beach, Porthcawl, although Howard had beaten him twice before he was knocked down twice in the first round, he continued fighting but sustained a badly swollen left eye which caused the bout to be stopped in the 5th round, "I was there" again with Les Barlow's dad Les Snr and Dickie Vokes - I still got the ticket stub from that one too. Howard then decided to retire at the age of 29.

In 2005 he was named "Greatest Citizen of Merthyr Tydfil" an accolade I would not argue with. For me Howard was "The Greatest"

cliffyboy

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Re: Welsh Greats - Howard Winstone.

Post  Risca Martyr on Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:12 pm

I don't know if you realised Cliffy, there was a film released last year (or 2010) about Howard's life called Risen (see link below).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0850709/

It is availabe to buy/rent from Amazon and I presume other DVD selling retail outlets so I may go and get a copy myself as I'm sure my dad would like to see it as well.
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Re: Welsh Greats - Howard Winstone.

Post  cliffyboy on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:43 pm

Cheers for that info. Top man.

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Re: Welsh Greats - Howard Winstone.

Post  cliffyboy on Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:48 am

I attended the UEFA Super Cup earlier (AUG 12) this month and arranged to meet my old mate Chris Johnson and his brother Tim at the Holiday Inn in Cardiff prior to the game. There was many Spanish fans drifting in and out of the bar but one gentleman was sat there opposite us on his own, Tim (like he does!) got chatting to him and then said to me "Do you know who this man is"? I looked puzzled - Tim then said Eddie Avoth. I nearly jumped out of my chair to shake his hand "Eddie I've seen you boxing many a time on Howard Winstone's bill" Eddie told us a few stories of his time under Eddie Thomas, Eddie (Thomas) had 3 British Champs in his stable, of course Howard and Ken Buchanan went on to become World Champs, heavyweight Carl Gizzi was also in Eddie's stable, Carl was the Welsh heavyweight Champ but lost to Jack Bodell on points over 15 rounds in 1969 for the British title. I doubt if you will ever see such an array of boxing talent as there was in Merthyr in the 60's, I've got some fantastic memories of those days. Eddie Avoth is 69 now but still looks fit! I always remember talking to him in the bar at the Royal Albert Hall after Howard won the World title in 68, he signed my programme, sadly it has been lost somewhere in my moving houses over the years. I have some old footage about the house somewhere of Howard winning the World title, it never fails to bring a tear to my eye!! I worshipped him

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Re: Welsh Greats - Howard Winstone.

Post  Boz1964 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:11 pm

Well Cliff , I lived next door to Howard Junior a while back and he let my son have photos with Winstones Lonsdale belt and other paraphernalia....he was a legend in the ring....as much as Dai Webley was up the Park....local heroes the pair of them....Boz
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