International Boxing Hall of Fame
"Peerless" Jim Driscoll
|Birth date||December 15, 1880(1880-12-15)|
|Birth place||Cardiff, Wales|
|Wins by KO||39|
Born on Ellen Street, Newtown, Cardiff in 1880, Driscoll gained fame for winning the coveted Lonsdale belt in 1910. Jim never forgot his roots; he was a faithful supporter of his church, remained close to his community, and had great affection for the Nazareth House Orphanage, for whom he once gave up the chance of becoming Featherweight Champion of the World.
After claiming the British featherweight title he went to prove himself in the U.S.. American boxing fans of the era favoured all-action boxers, but they were won over by the Cardiffian's skills, giving him the nickname 'Peerless Jim.' (Another common nickname for him was "Jem," and in his home town he was affectionately called "The Prince of Wales.") Featherweight champion Abe Attell faced Driscoll in 1910; the Welshman dominated the fight, but with the "no decision" rule in place, without a KO he couldn't take the crown. Driscoll declined a rematch in order to attend a mass with Monks saying: "I never break a promise."
After becoming the first featherweight to win a Lonsdale Belt, Driscoll prepared for an eagerly-anticipated fight against Freddie Welsh. The match was a disappointment, though, as Welsh's spoiling tactics upset Driscoll's style. By the 10th round, Driscoll's frustration boiled over, and he was disqualified for butting Welsh.
Driscoll's boxing career was interrupted by World War I, where he was recruited as a physical training advisor. In succeeding years, he continued to box despite failing health, relying on his skills to keep him out of trouble. When he died of consumption at the age of 44, over 100,000 people lined the streets of Cardiff for his funeral. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff, Wales, where fresh daffodils always adorn his grave. A statue was erected in his honour near the Central Boys' Club, where he trained, in 1997.
Driscoll's final official record is 58-3-6, with 39 KO's, however due to the scoring practices of the time, that yields 6 no-contest bouts on his record. Newspapers used to announce a winner in no-contest bouts, and taking that into account, his true record is 63-4-6 with 39 KO's.