The skills of Cardiff light-heavyweight Eddie Avoth (b. 1945) took him to British, Commonwealth and European titles, and many feel that illness cost him a world crown.
The Cardiff man won 20 of his first 21 fights, before he was struck by rheumatic fever. Avoth was out for eight months and it was feared he would never box again.
He did return to win all his titles, but both the fighter himself and Thomas say that he was never the same again and that without the illness he may have been a world champion.
Two years later, though, Avoth would gain revenge – and the British belt – when he stopped the same opponent.
Later in 1969 he missed out on the European title when he lost to Ivan Prebeg in Zagreb, Croatia.
The taste for travel seemed to get in the Welshman’s blood. In 1970 he lost to Mike Quarry in California, before travelling to Brisbane where he won the Commonwealth title with a sixth-round stoppage of Trevor Thornberry.
Avoth was back in London for his next fight, but he lost his British and Commonwealth crowns when he was stopped by Chris Finnegan in the 15th.
The Cardiff man would have four more fights, but no more title shots.
Two of those bouts were in Gauteng, South Africa, while the other two – including his last – were in the rather less salubrious surroundings of the Double Diamond Club, Caerphilly.
He has also found employment as an actor* and a well-known after-dinner speaker.