AS boxing fans gorge themselves on exhilarating world heavyweight action involving the likes of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua it is a long way from the days when towns in west Wales and other parts of the UK were venues for fairground boxing booths.

From the 1930s to his retirement in 2002 at the age of 91 boxing booth legend Ron Taylor organised bouts and exhibitions involving top notch fighters.

Boxers plying their trade in the booths included world champions Jimmy Wilde, Randolph Turpin and Freddie Mills while another to take on all-comers was Tonypandy heavyweight Tommy Farr whose chief claim to fame was going the distance with great world champion Joe Louis in his prime.

In 1977 the late legendary Muhammad Ali displayed his skills for charity on the front of the booth – the great man and Ron Taylor became good friends.

A nucleus of fighters travelled with Taylor’s booth, and one of the very best was a farmhand from Ponthirwaun between Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn the late Iorwerth ‘Curly’ Davies, deriving the name from a mop of jet black hair.

Prior to lacing the gloves he was a more than useful footballer with Cardigan Town but the young man had an affinity with the noble art.

During his ring career it was not uncommon for the classy, tough as teak welterweight to fight two or three times a night.

His introduction to the life of a booth fighter was at Carmarthen Fair towards the end of the 1940’s when thrown in against first round knockout specialist Kid Early.

To the surprise of many it was Early who soaked up punishment and was forced to retire at the end of round two, signalling the arrival of a new talent.

Gaining a reputation as a box-fighter he went in with the best, including former Welsh Professional Champion Darkie Hughes of Cardiff, American Golden Gloves Champion Galvin Garroway, British Empire title contender Al Brown and the multi-talented Johnny Melfa, the last two from British Guiana.

On hanging up his gloves Iorwerth Davies reverted to farming and became a Justice of the Peace for nearly two decades, six years as Chairman of Mid Ceredigion Magistrates.

His son is Paul Davies, Welsh Conservative MS for Preseli Pembrokeshire and leader of the opposition at the National Assembly.