Dai Dower

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Dai Dower
Statistics
Real name David William Dower
Rated at Flyweight
Nationality Welsh
Born (1933-06-20)20 June 1933
Abercynon, Wales
Died 1 August 2016(2016-08-01) (aged 83)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 37
Wins 34
Wins by KO 12
Losses 3
Draws 0
No contests 0

David William "Dai" Dower MBE (20 June 1933 – 1 August 2016), a British, Empire and European Flyweight boxing champion, was one of the most successful Welsh boxers of all time.[1]

Amateur career[edit]

After becoming ABA Flyweight Champion Dower was selected for the team of Great Britain at the 1952 Summer Olympics in the boxing squad,[2] recording victories over Abdelamid Boutefnouchet of France (3-0) and Leslie Donovan Perera Handunge of Ceylon (3-0) before finally losing to Soviet boxer Anatoli Bulakov, the holder of the Russian and European titles, 1-2.

Professional career[edit]

In 1953 Dower turned professional and he made his professional debut at Maindy Arena in Cardiff against Vernon John. Dower won by technical knockout.[3] Dower then beat Ron Hughes in two rounds[3] before he was taken the distance for the first time, opposing the vastly more experienced Preston fighter Colin Clitheroe.[4] Clitheroe had lost three of twenty two fights, mostly at bantamweight, but lost to Dower by points in a six-round bout.[3][4] With another four wins to his name, including two over Jimmy Roche, Dower faced Clitheroe again, this time stopping him in round five.[3][4]

On 23 March 1954, with 14 straight professional wins, Dower faced current British Flyweight Champion Terry Allen in a non-title fight. Scheduled for a ten-round fight at Earls Court Arena in London, Dower stopped Allen in the second.[3]

With 20 successful bouts as a professional boxer under his belt Dower was given his first chance at a title fight. On 19 October 1954 the diminutive Welshman became British Empire Champion, taking the title away from South African Zulu boxer Jake Tuli.

A second chance of a title came in 1955 in the shape of the British flyweight crown. Terry Allen, a previous Dower victim, had vacated the title allowing Dai Dower to contest the crown against Eric Marsden on 8 March at the Harringay Arena. Also at stake was Dower's Empire crown. Dower beat Marsden by points over the 15 round contest.[5]

Still unbeaten after 23 fights, the next title came just five months later when Dower took on Nazzareno Gianelli for the European Flyweight title at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London.[6] Boxing brilliantly, Dower dazzled the watching crowd with a wonderful display of textbook left jabbing. The fight went the distance, with Dower winning on points.

His first defeat came in his defence of the newly attained European crown, his 27th fight. Young Martin, a Spaniard, began to get through to the champion with his forceful and hurtful body attacks. Dower was dropped in the ninth round for the first time in the flyweight's career. Worse was to follow, with the champ hitting the canvas no less than six times in the tenth. It was all over in the twelfth round when Martin dropped the Welshman for the full count.

Five wins out of five followed in 1956, restoring Dower's career on its upward path. Later in the year Dower took a break from the ring when he joined the army to do his two years National Service.

On 30 March 1957 Dower fought World Flyweight Champion Pascual Perez who was at the height of his powers at Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro, in Perez' home town of Buenos Aires The fight proved to be a bout too far, and Dower suffered a first-round defeat.

Dai Dower went back to the British Army to finish his National Service following the crushing world title defeat. He later vacated his British & Empire flyweight titles.

There was just one more win over Eric Brett before a final defeat against Canadian, Pat Supple in the tenth round. Dower's relatively short, but successful career was over.

Later life and death[edit]

Shortly before his final fight he took up the position of sports master at Ringwood Grammar School in Bournemouth.[2] He became head of sport at Bournemouth University, a position he held for twenty one years, and in June 1998 he became the recipient of an MBE, awarded for his years of teaching sport to children.[2] Dower lived in retirement in Bournemouth.[7] Dower died on 1 August 2016 at the age of 83.[8][9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dai Dower MBE. Former Flyweight champion". Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Services. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Olympian, No. 33 p.7" (PDF). olympics.org.uk. 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Boxer: Dai Dower". BoxRec.com. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Dai Dower". johnnyowen.com. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Dai Dower in action against Eric Marsden". BBC Sport. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Programme for championship fight between Dai Dower and Nazzareno Giannelli, 1955". Gathering the Jewels. Archived from the original on 15 August 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Champion Boxer Honours Legend". heritagetrailsrct.co.uk. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Bocsiwr o Gymru wedi marw yn 83 oed". golwg360 (in Welsh). August 1, 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  9. ^ Dai Dower: Former British flyweight champion dies aged 83

External links[edit]