Jones Making Up for Lost Time
Connor Lee Jones is determined to pick up where he left off in pro boxing after a frustrating few months out of the ring. Jones resumes his efforts, after nine months on the sidelines, with a four-rounder at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday March 9. The 22-year-old lightweight, who turns 23 on February 19, features on BCB Promotions’ show at their most often used venue, with the bill titled ‘Pride of the Midlands.’ He has missed two fight dates since his previous bout last July, where he defeated the country’s most experienced boxer, Kristian Laight. First an appearance at Walsall Town Hall in October fell by the wayside, due to a licensing issue with the British Boxing Board of Control. Then injury curtailed his next chance of action in December, but Jones has now recovered and is keen to make up for last time. He impressed by beating Laight, with an age difference of nearly 16 years between the two. Laight retired two bouts later, after equalling Peter Buckley’s record of 300 pro contests. It added a second whitewash points victory to his paid ledger, the first coming over former English title challenger Liam Richards. Both results were 40-36 to Jones. The Lions Boxing Club graduate trains at the RB Boxfit gym in Bilston, Wolverhampton, under the tutelage of coaches Richard Ghent and Robert Wright, both ex-pros.It follows on from the grounding he received from Team GB guru Bob Dillon, as he came through the ranks at Lions in Dudley. He bagged ABA All-England honours in 2013 and was a part of the GB junior squad, also boxing for England in the unpaid ranks. Jones endured a two-year gap from competitive action, before turning over, and doesn’t want any more long gaps in his career. He said: “I broke a bone in my right hand, about a month before I was due to box last, when I was sparring with Kane Baker (current Midlands lightweight champion). “I was still going to fight, I just planned to get in there and stick behind the jab, but my team pulled me out and, looking back now, it was the right decision. “I ended up with a cast on my hand, but I still carried on training best I could. I had it off over Christmas, so I’ve been back at it full pelt since the new year. “I’ve been out of the ring for long periods before and came back with a win, so I should be alright. I’ll just try and do what I do best on March 9. “It’s not as if I’m starting over again, I’ve already got two victories under my belt and I want to get another four in this year. To be 6-0 by the end of 2019 is my target. “I like whoever I’m in the ring with to come and have a go, but I understand I’ve got to go through the journeymen to get to the proper contests. “I perform at my best when I’m relaxed, so I’ll be staying calm in there, but if someone comes to fight, they’ll get that from me. “I’m good at adapting to my opponents, but I need someone to engage with me to show that. As time goes on, you’ll get that more and more. “I think you’ll see a big difference in me, I’m feeling mentally right and I’m good to go again. It’s all on the night, I want a good result and to let my skills speak for me.” Former British middleweight champion Tommy Langford is top of the bill as he moves up to super middleweight. The Devon-born Brummie, 29, staged two fantastic slugfests with Jason Welborn for the Lonsdale belt last year. Elsewhere on the under-card, reigning Midlands middleweight ruler and English title challenger Tyler Denny, from Rowley Regis, is scheduled for his 14th outing as a pro. Talented welterweight Tommy Ghent, from Coseley, has racked up eight victories (three TKOs) without reply but hasn’t boxed in nearly a year. Wolverhampton’s Conah Walker, a protege of the legendary Ricky Hatton, has a hat-trick of paid successes. The Merridale Boxing Club graduate turned over last September. A fourth win will also be the target of Burntwood’s Troi Coleman. ‘The Hawk,’ a former kickboxer, has three points verdicts under his belt so far. Black Country girl Kirstie Bavington, from Wolverhampton, completes the card with one success and a draw from her two paid affairs.