AN ARTIST will pay tribute to Newport boxer David ‘Bomber’ Pearce with a specially-commissioned painting, it has been announced.

As previously reported, the South Wales Argus backed a campaign to raise £35,000 to pay for a 6ft 2in statue of the boxing champion.

Following the successful campaign by the late boxing star’s nephew, Luke Pearce, the statue was crafted in China and now sits in storage ahead of a grand unveiling in Newport this June.

To mark the event, artist Patrick Killian has been asked to produce a huge painting paying tribute to the former steelworker who was dubbed by many as Newport’s own Rocky.

The Newbridge artist, who grew up in Cwmcarn, is known for his paintings of boxing legends from Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson to Muhammad Ali and has even exhibited his paintings in Las Vegas.

As a former boxer who took the Welsh Amateur Boxing Federation title in 1997, Mr Killian said he is “very excited” about the project and to “be asked to be part of this celebration”.

“Some may ask what is it that makes David Pearce stand out and his significance to Newport,” he said.

“He is the only Newport-born boxer to win a British Heavyweight Title. The idea I have for this piece will surely encapsulate who we know as ‘Newport’s Rocky’”.

Although Mr Killian doesn’t want to spoil the surprise for the piece, he said it will be filled with colour, follow a classic theme and measure 6ft by 4ft.

After his first professional fight in 1978, David Pearce rose to prominence defeating the three-time world light heavyweight champion Dennis Andries in 1981.

In St David’s Hall in Cardiff in 1983 he fought Swansea’s Neville Meade to become the Welsh and British heavyweight champion – a title he never lost in the ring.

Newport solicitor and member of the David Pearce Statue Committee, Andrew Collingbourne, said he has known artist Patrick Killian since 2005 and described him as the”perfect choice” for the project.

“We’re very excited because we know how talented he is and know he will do David justice,” he said.

The boxing legend’s nephew Luke Pearce added: “I believe it will add gravitas and a special touch to what will be an amazing event.”

For more information on The Final Count Down statue unveiling, visit:

To see Mr Killian’s boxing-themed works, visit his website or