A Little Journey to The Fred Welsh Health Farm
Booklet courtesy of Richard Blacher.
Comments and pictures by Paul Jackson.
A Little Journey to the Fred Welsh Health Farm
By Felix Shay, no date
This booklet measures 6 7/8" x 4 3/8" and has 24 numbered pages. The booklet is undated but is believed to have been published in the late teens to early 1920's. This booklet is not listed in McKenna.
Frederick Hall Thomas, AKA Freddie Welsh
and "Welsh Wizard" was born March 5 1886 in Pontypridd, Wales and died July 29
1927; New York City, New York. The son of a successful businessman, Freddie
suffered frequent illnesses as a child and was sent to California for his
health. There he took up boxing as a result of a suggestion from his physical
fitness instructor and he became so good at the sport that he decided to make a
living out of it. He turned professional in 1905. He took the name
Freddie Welsh to prevent his mother from learning of his new career. The surname
'Welsh' taken as a honour to his nationality.
Welsh was a light hitter but was very clever and a wonderful defensive fighter. In 1914, Welsh won the World Lightweight title on a points decision against Ritchie in London. During the WW1 Freddie served as a lieutenant and helped disabled veterans at the Walter Reed Hospital. Freddie was discharged a captain and returned to the ring in December, 1920. During his long career he fought in 163 fights, winning 120; 30 by KO, losing 27 and drawing 16. Freddie was stopped (KO'd) just once and that was by Benny Leonard.
Freddie retired from boxing after a defeat by Archie Walker in 1922, but retired as a wealthy man. After retiring from the ring, he bought a gymnasium, operated a health farm, managed several fighters and lectured on physical education, but fell on hard times and died penniless in New York.
Nat Fleischer ranked Welsh as the #4 All-Time Lightweight and Charley Rose ranked him as the #5 All-Time Lightweight. Freddie Welsh was elected to the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1960 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997. I do know that in 1910 and 1911 there were boxing sports cards that featured Welsh on them.
This picture is not from above booklet.
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