Two-weight British champion Pat Thomas (b. 1950) rose from poverty and fell into obscurity after retirement, but his career was memorable.
He was born in St Kitts, but moved to Cardiff at the age of seven and followed his brother Carl into boxing. After some mixed results in his early career, things improved when he switched to manager Les Roberts.
They built to a shot at the British welterweight title that had been vacated by John H Stracey as he chased world glory. On 15 December, 1975, Thomas stopped Pat McCormack over 13 scrappy rounds at Walworth’s Manor Place Baths to claim the prized belt.
Problems followed for the Cardiffian as he fell out with Roberts, struggled to make welterweight, and endured defeat as he tried to advance to the European title.
After losing his British title to Henry Rhiney, Thomas moved up to light-middleweight and found a new manager in Welshman Clive Hall.
He ventured to Guyana for a fruitless Commonwealth title challenge against Kenny Bristol, before finding glory in London on 11 September, 1979.
The Welshman took on champion Jimmy Batten for the British light-middleweight crown at Wembley Conference Centre, and the challenger’s ninth-round stoppage win made him the first Welshman to secure British titles at two weights since World War II.
He would win a Lonsdale belt, before being outclassed as he lost his crown to a fast-rising Herol Graham. After losing his last six fights, Thomas retired in 1984 and went on to work as a trainer, helping – amongst others – future Welsh world champion Barry Jones.