A Neyland military artist has proved he can pack a punch with his art after a Welsh champion boxer took his canvass home last week.

Artist and Colour Sergeant Barry John of 2 Battalion Royal Welsh Regiment presented the canvas to lightweight champion Gavin Rees at the Cardiff Kooywood Gallery last Thursday.

Commissioned by the former WBA light welterweight world champion, the painting depicts the sportsman’s career of more than 40 professional fights, with 37 wins and 17 knockouts.

Mr Rees, who has now returned to his training after his world championship fight in LA at the start of the year, said: “Barry is an exciting up-and-coming Welsh artist and to have a piece of his work personalised to me and my career is amazing.”

He added: "Barry is a great supporter of military charities and I am looking forward to seeing his art career progress."

C/Sgt John, who has now relocated to Swansea as part of the Army Recruiting Team 2IC, was awarded an MBE in 2010 for his work in Army recruitment.

His subsequent military career, which took him to Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Jamaica, Cyprus, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Germany, formed the basis of his artistic inspiration.

He said: “Being represented by the Kooywood Gallery in Cardiff along with some of the biggest names in Welsh art is the greatest honour and shows what working hard at your passion can result in. It’s truly fulfilling.”

In 2011, C/Sgt John won the Templar Award at the Armed Forces Art Society Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, in London, and took part in the prestigious Square Mile Salute at the London Guildhall in support of injured servicemen in 2012.

He has now been commissioned to paint a piece for Welsh actor Rhys Ifans, who has starred in blockbusters including Harry Potter and Notting Hill.

C/Sgt John will also lead a community art project with Neyland School and Neyland Town Council to coincide with the November Armistice, where he will help create a giant painting and sculpture to honour the lost servicemen and women in all conflicts.