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Written by Rob Snell   
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
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Jim Driscoll
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Name: Jim Driscoll
Career Record: click
Alias: Peerless/Jem Driscoll
Nationality: British
Birthplace: Cardiff, Wales
Hometown: Cardiff, Wales
Born: 1880-12-15
Died: 1925-01-30
Age at Death: 44
Height: 5' 6
Division: Featherweight
Manager: Charley Harvey



Weight: 126 pounds  Height 5'6"
Managed by Charley Harvey

European, Commonwealth and British Featherweight Champion 1906-14

Jim Driscoll was born into poverty in the docks area of Cardiff and was one of five children. He was only 7 months old when his father, Cornelius, was killed after being knocked down in a goods yard close to his home. He began boxing as a young boy and when he worked in the composing room of the old Evening Express, a local newspaper office, and leant to box using waste paper wrapped around his hands.

Along with most Welsh boxers of that time he started out in the boxing booths, then commonplace in Wales, coming up against men of all shapes and sizes. The Legend goes he would challenge anyone to hit him on the nose, inside a minute, while he stood on a handkerchief with his hands tied behind his back! .Jack Scarott, who ran the boxing booth, added a silver crown to the purse for anyone who managed to do it. Jim Driscoll was just aged 17 and earning a sovereign a week from boxing. 

At 26 He won the British Featherweight title in 1906

After losing only one fight, against Harry Mansfield in a hotly disputed decision, Jim fought for the British featherweight title, in 1906, against the reigning champion Joe Bowker. Although the fight went the full distance of 15 rounds, Bowker was outclassed by Driscoll and went down to a points defeat.

Jim Driscoll inexplicably gave up his title but the following year met Joe Bowker again for the Featherweight Championship of Great Britain  - on this occasion he was to knock Bowker out in the 17th round to become a two-time British Champion.

The following year, 1908, saw Jim avenge his only defeat to date by defeating Harry Mansfield over 6 rounds and also taking the Empire title by defeating Charles Griffin over 15 rounds (this fight was also billed as being for the British version of the World Featherweight Title). 

After gaining the Commonwealth and European titles he went to America to force a fight with Abbe Attell who then claimed the world title. 

Attell would only meet Driscoll in a non title bout on 19th Feb 1909New York  -. Despite the fact that he had pleurisy Driscoll won every round by a wide margin although he was unable to knock Attell down and the contest ending in a no decision. 

This was the era of the no-decision in America, where the rules stated that if a boxer was not knocked out then the fight was declared a no-decision. It is primarily this rule  which prevented Peerless Jim from being declared a World Champion. However the New York papers stated he was the winner and was deemed to be the uncrowned titleholder after that. Nat Fleischer when commenting on the fight said 'Driscoll was easily the best. The Welshman easily outpointed Atell and virtually took his title away from him. He definitely proved, as far as I am concerned, that he was the best featherweight in the world'.  It was at this time he was given the accolade of Peerless Jim, a tribute to his skilful left hand.

Jim Driscoll  was offered a return fight with the world title at stake. However before he left for
America he promised to box in an exhibition bout for the Nazareth House Orphanage annual charity show. True to his prmise he sailed back to Wales the following day and  effectively giving up his chance to become a World Champion. 

On his return to Britain he beat three more challengers , over 11 months and 16 days, to make the Lonsdale belt his own in 1911. He was the first person to win the featherweight Lord Lonsdale belt.( by winning three Championship contests) 

Against his will he was to meet a fellow country man Freddie Welsh in what turned out to be a dirty fight. With Driscoll being ruled out for butting. 

He retired in 1913 but came back 6yrs later to make his final appearance against Charles Ledoux (France). For the best part of 16 rounds he boxed him dizzy but a blow to the body forced him to retire.

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