Winstone's build-up was troubled, domestic problems culminating when his wife Benita stabbed him in the arm.
The Merthyr featherweight took to the sport from a young age with Dowlais ABC, and would go on to enjoy a famous, long-lasting partnership with trainer Eddie Thomas at his Penydarren gym. The Howard Winstone story: Nel Tarleton, that other great featherweight from Liverpool, was so close to Driscoll in his skill, but now at last the record book will say that Wales has produced the greatest British featherweight of all timei n Howard winstone, the first Briton ever to win the crown.
BBC iD Sign in. The people of Merthyr gathered in their hundreds for his funeral just as they had in 1968 to welcome the world champion home. A total of 61 wins from 67 fights — five world title fights — ranks among the best the country has ever seen. Having fought 53 times and recorded 51 wins Howard Winstone was ready for his shot at world glory — all he needed was a few more fights before he would face the outstanding nine stone boxer of the day Vincente Saldivar.
The older Winstone would barely have recognised his young fighting self, though.
He won 83 of his 86 amateur fights, the highlight being the gold medal he claimed at the Empire Games in Cardiff in 1958. Reputation restored Howard was to enter the seminal 13 months of his career — 13 months that would see him fight for the world title on four occasions. The fact that Winstone stopped just 27 of his 61 professional victims testifies to his modest punching power. Coach Eddie Thomas knew his protege would need to work even harder on his speed, stamina and punching power if he was to overcome his disability.
He won three Welsh schools titles, and one British title. Hours after his return he was in a divorce court — even the judge congratulated him on his victory — following his split with first wife Benita. I could still be playing if I hadn't been Wales captain Warburton has opened up about the toll being Wales captain took on him mentally as well as physically. He fought his heart out, though, and seemed to have won the first 10 rounds comfortably.
By the time of his third fight with Saldivar, Winstone's marriage to Benita was failing, and she eventually left him for another man: He continued living in Merthyr Tydfil after retirement.
I could still be playing if I hadn't been Wales captain. Howard Winstone, the former world featherweight champion from Wales, who has died aged 61, was one of the most talented boxers ever to grace a British ring.
The mid-1960s saw Winstone at his best. A planned gym never materialised, a wholesale haberdashers folded and a cafe in Merthyr Bus Station only gave him a small income. Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice.
He briefly ran a cafe in Merthyr, and subsequently a public house in Aberdare, neither venture proving successful. Although a world-title shot against Cuba's Sugar Ramos proved frustratingly elusive, a crowd of 15,000 saw him retain his European crown against Frenchman Yves Desmarets in Rome.
Later, he was made a Freeman of Merthyr Tydfil due to his boxing accomplishments. However Saldivar knew the impact of a powerful finish and once again turned on the taps in the 14th.