For more than one hundred years the Lonsdale Belt, first awarded in 1909 by the legendary National Sporting Club and since 1936 by the British Boxing Board of Control, has encircled the waists of all the great names in British boxing history: Freddie Welsh and Ted 'Kid' Lewis; Benny Lynch and Jimmy Wilde; Freddie Mills, Randolph Turpin and Terry Downes; Henry Cooper, Barry McGuigan, Lennox Lewis and Joe Calzaghe. Drawing upon a wealth of sources - interviews and reminiscences, boxing-board minutes and programmes, contemporary magazines and newspapers, even archive film, sports historian John Harding tells the absorbing and fascinating story of the belt's origins and development and how the system the belt represents has continued to provide an unambiguous measure of excellence in the chaotic and often murky world of British professional boxing.
John Harding is the author of Lonsdale's Belt: The Story of Boxing's Greatest Prize, first published in 1994 and updated more than two decades later. A sports historian and literary biographer of over 30 years' experience, he has chronicled the lives of footballers Billy Meredith and Alex James, boxer Jack 'Kid' Berg and playwright Shelagh Delaney among others. He writes regularly for publications such as Blizzard and When Saturday Comes.