Floyd Havard

Floyd Havard (Photo: Floyd Havard, Facebook)

Floyd Havard (Photo: Floyd Havard, Facebook)

Floyd Havard (b. 1965) was an outstanding domestic super-featherweight champion who came up just short when he moved up to world level.

The Swansea man narrowly missed out on representing Great Britain at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, but won the ABA title the following year before turning professional.

After 18 straight professional wins in just two-and-a-half years, the Welshman had done enough to earn a shot at Pat Cowdell’s British super-featherweight crown.

Champion Cowdell had twice challenged for the world crown – against two greats in Salvador Sanchez and Azumah Nelson – but he had reached veteran status at the age of 35.

The bout at Port Talbot’s Afan Lido would prove to be Cowdell’s last, Havard stopping him in the eighth round. The Welshman would later describe the win as the ‘best night of his career’.

Two non-title wins followed for the new champion, but in his first defence against John Doherty he fell to his first professional defeat when he was forced to quit in the 11th round because of a broken hand.

Havard took 18 months out of the game, but returned for a five-fight winning streak that propelled him to a world-title challenge against IBF king John John Molina.

The Welshman had struggled in the build-up with a broken nose and admitted later that his preparation was poor and he should never have fought.

Puerto Rican great Molina was at the height of his powers, dropping his challenger in the third at the Welsh Institute of Sport, and after six rounds Havard was retired with nose damage.

Despite the defeat he was back just two months later, challenging Llanelli’s Neil Haddock for his old British super-featherweight crown.

In a sweet night for those on the west side of the Loughor, the Swansea man triumphed with a 10th-round stoppage win.

Havard would keep fighting for another two years, making two successful defences of his British crown.

He won all his seven bouts in that period, but never again got the chance to compete for higher honours and retired with 34 wins and just two defeats.

In a mixed post-boxing career, Havard worked in security, in factories, on the railways and as a boxing agent, and he even made an unlikely 2009 comeback as a semi-professional.

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