Dai Dower British & Empire and European flyweight champion SIGNED and INSCRIBED "Best Wishes" promotional black and white 6" x 4" photo.
Dai Dower (20 June 1933), British, Empire & European Flyweight boxing Champion is one of the most successful Welsh boxers of all time. Although his entire boxing career spanned only five years (60 months), 37 action packed fights justly earned Dower his place among the great Welsh boxers that had gone before.
After becoming ABA Flyweight Champion Dower was selected for the team of Great Britain at the 1952 Summer Olympics in the boxing squad, recording victories over Abdelamid Boutefnouchet of France (3-0) and Leslie Donovan Perera Handunge of Ceylon (3-0) before finally losing to Russian boxer Anatoly Bulakov, the holder of the Russian and European titles, 1-2.
February 1953 saw Dower's professional debut with a technical knock-out (TKO) over Vernon John. With two professional wins under his belt Dai was taken the distance for the first time when opposing the vastly more experienced Preston fighter Colin Clitheroe. Clitheroe had lost just three of twenty two fights, mostly at bantamweight, but was no match for the Welsh flyweight with Dower easing to a sixth round decision. Five wins later Dower faced Clitheroe again, this time stopping his man in round five.
A 2nd round KO win over current British Flyweight Champion, Terry Allen in a non-title fight in March 1954 consolidated Dower's growing reputation.
With 20 successful bouts as a professional boxer under his belt Dower was given his first chance at a title fight. On October 19, 1954 the diminutive Welshman became British Empire Champion, taking the title away from South African Zulu boxer Jake Tuli.
A second chance of a title came in 1955 in the shape of the British flyweight crown. Terry Allen, a previous Dower victim, had vacated the title allowing Dai Dower to contest the crown against Eric Marsden on 8 March. Also at stake was Dower's Empire crown. The decision was never in doubt as Dower cruised to a points victory over a tough opponent.
Still unbeaten after 23 fights, the next title came just five months later when Dower took on Nazzareno Gianelli for the European Flyweight title at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London. Boxing brilliantly Dower dazzled the watching crowd with a wonderful display of text book left jabbing. The fight went the distance with Dower winning on points.
His first defeat came in his defence of the newly attained European crown, his 27th fight. Young Martin, a Spaniard, began to get through to the champion with his forceful and hurtful body attacks. Dower was dropped in the ninth round for the first time in the flyweight's career. Worse was to follow with the champ hitting the canvas no less than six times in the tenth. It was all over in the twelfth round when Martin dropped the courageous Welshman for the full count.
Five wins out of five followed in 1956, restoring Dower's career on its upward path. Later in the year Dai took a break from the ring when he joined the army to do his two years National Service.
On 30 March 1957 Dower fought World Flyweight Champion Pascual Perez who was at the height of his powers at Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro, in Perez' home town of Buenos Aires The fight proved to be a bout too far, and Dower suffered a first round defeat.
Dai Dower went back to the British Army to finish his National Service; following the crushing World title defeat. He later vacated his British & Empire flyweight titles.
There was just one more win over Eric Brett before a final defeat against Canadian, Pat Supple in the tenth round.
Dower's relatively short, but brilliantly successful career was over.
He became head of sport at Bournemouth University, a position he held for over twenty years, and in June 1998 belatedly became the recipient of an MBE - an award which possibly also reflects his achievements as the leading British flyweight boxer of the mid-1950s.
Dai Dower now lives in quiet retirement in Bournemouth.