A DOCUMENTARY paying tribute to "Newport’s Rocky" David 'Bomber' Pearce is set to be broadcast on BBC One Wales this week.

The final part of series Mavericks: Sport's Lost Heroes is due to be show on Wednesday at 10.35pm and spotlights the boxing great.

Each episode has followed the rise of Welsh sporting icons from outside the mainstream who made a huge impact on those around them.

The series tracks the heroes’ journeys from humble beginnings to the peak of their careers.

The first episode followed the life and times of inspirational Paralympian, Cwmbran's Chris Hallam.

Ex-steelworker Pearce was widely regarded as one of the most exciting and under-rated heavyweights of the Eighties.

He had his first professional fight in 1978 and followed this with a succession of wins before he, like his brother Raymond, took on Dennis Andries in 1981.

The Guyanan-born Andries went on to become the three-time WBC light-heavyweight world champion and fought such legends as Thomas Hearns.

Pearce knocked him out in the seventh round and laid down his marker and showed what he could do.

After beating Swansea's Neville Meade to the British title in 1983, the fighter from Pill proudly proclaimed: "I did it for Newport."

A year later he made his bid for the European heavyweight crown and although it is unthinkable now, he had to sleep on a park bench before the fight in the French city of Limoges.

A promoter had not arranged somewhere for Pearce to stay.

As if that were not enough, he went into the fight with broken bones in both his hands.

Pearce knocked down his Gallic opponent Lucien Rodriguez twice in the eighth round with both counts going over 10 seconds – the first to 13 and the second to 17 seconds.

He lost on a controversial points decision.

Pearce won over the French crowd who gave him a standing ovation and followed him from the stadium chanting his name.

He came within a whisker of beating a world title challenger and taking the European title.

His career was to end in sadness and controversy.

Later that year while the ‘Bomber’ was linked to fight Frank Bruno, the British Boxing Board of Control took away his licence to fight after he underwent a compulsory brain scan which revealed irregularities.

The heavyweight champion had his title declared vacant. He had lost it, not with a punch but at the stroke of a pen.

After a series of setbacks, ‘Bomber’ became ill, developing epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease.

He took to coaching youngsters at Alway Amateur Boxing Club. Although his own career was cut short, he still wanted to pass on his love of the game.

On Saturday, May 20 in 2000, David was found dead at his home in Newport. He was just 41.

On the day of his funeral on Stow Hill around 2,000 people came to say farewell to a great champion and a Newport boxer whose life was cut too short.

The hearse needed a police escort to make its way slowly through the crowds.

The South Wales Argus backed the 'Newport's Rocky' campaign, set up in 2016 by the late boxer's nephew Luke, and it went on to raise £61,000.

This money was used to pay for a bronze sculpture of Pearce which was unveiled last year along the River Usk in the city.

The episode of Mavericks: Sport's Lost Heroes will air on Wednesday, September 11 on BBC One Wales at 10.35pm and will be available on BBC iPlayer.