Bunny was a well-known sportsman in the Garw Valley in the 1930s and 40s. He was a miner, a good rugby player and a very hard and determined middleweight boxer. Bunny never got knocked out or stopped in the ring. Bunny fought Billy Thomas for the Welsh Middleweight Title in 1935 but lost a hard fought fight on points. The Great Tommy Farr who had fought Joe Louis for the world title in the USA failed to stop Bunny. Tommy Farr once referred to Bunny as the hardest boxer he fought. He said he could beat him but he couldn’t knock him down. Bunny did get a draw against Tommy Farr over 10 rounds in August 1932 but he lost on points in their other fight.
In the programme notes for Bunny’s fight against Fred Stabbins in Bridgewater, also in 1935, it claims, “ The lad has a great record and has not been stopped in 144 fights; late- ly sparring partner to Eddie Phillips, Light Heavyweight champion of Great Britain.” It is difficult to prove how many fights Bunny had because he had many unsanctioned fights which are not recorded on his record.
Another famous fight he had was against Barney Kieswetter in the Stokes Pavilion in Pontycymer, or as the locals called it, Dick the Devil’s Garage, which was in Federa- tion Lane just below the football field. The arena was packed and the spectators wit- nessed a great exciting fight which Bunny lost on points over 15 rounds.
The most amazing story about Bunny took place in March 1933. He got up early as usual and did his shift in the Ffaldau Colliery in the morning. In the afternoon he played rugby for Blaengarw. After the match he walked over the mountains to Trealaw in the Rhondda and went 15 rounds with Tommy Farr losing on points. He must have been amazingly fit and strong to do all this. Modern sportsmen would not consider do- ing it.
Bunny finally retired in 1944 or 45 from boxing and remained in the Garw for the rest of his life.
Researched by Ian Black