Robbie Turley

Profile of Welsh boxer Robbie Turley (b. 1986), the Cefn Fforest fighter who won the Commonwelath bantamweight title in 2017.

Robbie Turley after winning his Commonwealth title (photo: Jamie Sanigar, Twitter)

Robbie Turley after winning his Commonwealth title (photo: Jamie Sanigar, Twitter)

Robbie Turley was a respected, old-school professional, but as his career advanced it looked like title glory would pass him by.

The Newport-born fighter turned professional in 2007, putting together a decent winning record on mostly local shows.

When he stepped up in class, he tended to compete well, but to fall to defeat.

Included on his record are two losses to Merthyr’s Dai Davies, one to Jamie Arthur, one to Thomas Patrick Ward and – most prominently of all – a 2011 loss to the fast-rising Carl Frampton.

Turley gave ‘The Jackal’ a much harder fight than the Belfast man would have anticipated, cutting him but falling to a points defeat.

A performance like that opens many doors but, after a 2012 win over Gavin Reid, the results of a brain scan led to Turley having his licence revoked.

Two years of legal and medical wranglings followed before he was allowed to return to the ring and begin his climb back up the slippery pole.

His career followed a similar path of wins and hard-fought defeats, but in April 2017 – at the age of 30 – he landed his first shot at a major belt, the vacant Commonwealth bantamweight title.

His opponent was a former champion in Bobby Jenkinson, but Turley would enjoy home advantage at the Newport Centre.

With stable-mates including world champion Lee Selby cheering him on, Turley dropped his opponent in the second round of a dominant performance.

Jenkinson bravely held on until the ninth when a sickening body shot again sent him to the canvas, prompting his corner to throw in the towel.

“I feel like a world champion, it’s a dream come true,” Turley told the Argus after taking his record to 18-6. “I had my debut at the Newport Centre 10 years ago and was then told I wasn’t allowed to box again, which broke my heart.

“But all the fighting, dedication and money spent to get my licence back was worth it. I’ve won a major title and I’m the happiest man in the world.

“If I had lost I wasn’t going to fight again, but I did it and now I want to make something of it. I was saying to my family that I needed something like this for my pride.”

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