TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Swansea's true boxing greats, who has died aged 74.
Brian Curvis passed away at James University Hospital in Middlesbrough at the weekend after losing his battle with leukaemia.
Part of a famous boxing family from Townhill, with brothers Cliff and Ken, Mr Curvis had a decorated career as a former British and Commonwealth welterweight champion.
Described as an intelligent southpaw, he held a record of 37 wins from 41 fights and trained regularly in Taibach.
His niece, Linda Blackmore, said: "Throughout my childhood I spent a lot of my time watching all he did and looked up to him as a hero figure.
"It was an exciting time and he was an immensely respected person around the town (Swansea) and had a lot of respect."
As he moved up the boxing ladder during his career, he took centre stage in top-ranked shows in Johannesburg and Paris, as well as the Royal Albert Hall and the Empire Pool in London, and won the ABA (Amateur Boxing Association) title under real surname, Nancurvis, in 1958.
A father of two and grandfather of four, he took the British crown six months after his triumph over Australian George Barnes in 1960 and reigned as dual champion until the end of his career at the age of 28.
During the same year, his sporting achievements were acknowledged when he was awarded the prestigious title of BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.
Then four years later, in arguably the biggest fight of his career, he lost a world title fight with the great Emile Griffiths in front of a sell-out crowd in London's Empire Pool.
He was knocked down three times by the American, who was named Ring Fighter of the Year, but showed remarkable courage to climb to his feet to force a points decision, which went against him.
Gorseinon's Colin Jones, also a former welterweight champion, said: "He will be missed greatly and was always at boxing events and supportive of the sport.
"I knew him pretty well through crossing paths in boxing and he gave a tremendous account of himself against Emile Griffith, which was quite an achievement as he was undoubtedly one of the greatest boxers of all time. He had a lovely boxing family who were well respected throughout Swansea, and has undoubtedly left a good mark on boxing. He had been a credit in and outside of the ring and it is a terrible loss."
Daughter Deena Pitson added: "He was a great man, we are very proud of his achievements and will miss him very much."