Gwyn Williams (1922-2006) arguably spent the best years of his career fighting non-descript bouts during the hell of World War II.
The Oxfordshire-born, Pontycymmer welterweight turned professional in 1938 and was a regular performer who suffered just one defeat in the period 1938-44, Ronnie James amongst his victims.
Most of those fights were in south-east England, particularly Oxford’s Town Hall, as Williams served as a parachute instructor.
But in 1945 he crossed to the Continent and – as the Allied forces advanced into German-held territory – he boxed twice in Belgium, losing to the ‘Irish Guardsman’ Arthur Danahar on each occasion.
Another three losses followed – including a revenge win for James – but his form improved markedly after the war, building to a 1947 shot at the British welterweight crown.
Champion Ernie Roderick dropped Williams in the third and went on to a 15-round win over the Welshman.
A 1948 win over Eddie Thomas led Williams into a British welterweight eliminator against Eric Boon, but the fight was a no contest and – in his next outing – he dropped a decision against Thomas in a battle for the Welsh Area welterweight crown.
Williams’s form remained solid, and in 1949 he claimed a fifth-round knock-out win over another Welsh great, Cliff Curvis.
A rematch the following year was another British title eliminator, but Curvis was the victor this time with a 12-round points triumph.
Williams would never come as close to a title again and retired three fights later in 1951 with a record showing 56 wins, 15 defeats and a single draw.