previously guided Howard Winstone and Ken Buchanan to World titles,
Eddie Thomas almost succeeded in achieving a hat-trick when he took Colin Jones
to three World title attempts.
renowned for his big hitting, most notably his left hook, although he
could render an opponent senseless with one punch from either hand.
Not surprising then that 23 of his 26 wins was by the short route;
an exceptional ratio. Mike Copp was the first, of so many, to feel
Jones power in Colin's first pro fight back in October 1977. The
fight lasted 5 rounds. Three more wins by knockout followed, two in
the first round, before Colin had to go the full eight round
distance when defeating Tony Martey, at Aberavon, in March 1978.
two fights succeeding the Martey bout also went the distance,
against Frankie Decaestecker and Horace McKenzie. These three
successive full distance wins were the last time that Colin Jones
would go the distance to beat an opponent. Throughout 1979 Colin
defeated all 4 opponents by KO, before beginning 1980 in the same
fashion with a 6 round KO of Cardiff boxer, Billy Waith. Undefeated
in 13 fights the greatest challenge to date was on the horizon. A
British title challenge to the present champion, Kirkland
To this day Kirkland Laing is one of the best boxers to have ever
graced a boxing ring; he had it all. Dazzling footwork, lightening hand speed,
amazing reflexes and a fast, solid combination puncher who could hit
hard enough to stop any opponent. Although he was prone to
showboating and dropping his hands, usually his skills were more than
adequate to avoid any trouble.
The stage was set for a classic
'boxer v big hitter' fight. For eight rounds Colin ceaselessly
stalked Laing around the ring with his hands held high just
soaking up punishment. Laing was at his dazzling best employing all
his skills to stay away from Jones devastating punches while landing
his own wide variety of shots almost at will. It was inevitable that sooner or later
Jones would connect with a big 'un; then we would see if Laing could
stand up to Jones power. The ninth round proceeded as the previous
eight until...... wham ! Seemingly from nowhere Colin unleashed
a tremendous right hand to the champions jaw. As Kirkland held
hopelessly onto the top rope, in a desperate attempt to remain
upright, Colin unmercifully battered him with both hands. With the
champion now totally defenceless the referee stepped in to halt the
fight. Colin Jones was going home to Wales as the new British
Commonwealth Welterweight title was won
by defeating Mark Harris, of Ghana, in 9 rounds before a return bout
with Kirkland Laing in 1981. Amazingly the return fight was a carbon
copy of the first. It was all Laing until in the ninth ....wham !
all over !!!
The referee was in no doubt that the rules had to be applied and
showing no favouritism toward his countryman disqualified Colin
for hitting his opponent while on the canvas.
Colin's first defeat came against the American, Curtis Ramsey in a
controversial decision. In the third round with Ramsey hurt from
Jones hooks to his body, he sank to the floor. The fight seemed to
be over for Ramsey, but as he hit the canvas Colin landed a light
punch to the side of his head. The referee Welshman, Adrian Morgan,
signalled the end of the fight. Without question that final punch
was insignificant, however, Colin had hit his opponent while he
European Title success
from his first 'defeat' with 2 KO wins before a bout of appendicitis
put him out of action for 10 months. On his return to the ring he
KO'd Sakaraia Ve in two rounds then took the European
Welterweight Title when Hans Henrik-Palm was dispatched also, in two
rounds. With three titles to his name the next goal was the vacant
W.B.C. Welterweight Championship.
To decide who
was to succeed Sugar Ray Leonard as World Welterweight Champion,
Colin was matched with the unbeaten
American, Milton McCrory aka The
Iceman. Starting the fight as an overwhelming underdog Colin took
the fight to his opponent. McCrory threw a lot of what to Jones
seemed insignificant punches, as Colin continuously moved forward
looking for the chance to unload his bombs. When Colin did connect
he landed by far the most telling punches of the fight, hurting
McCrory each time. But his successes were not frequent enough. Colin
had started slowly, as he usually did, allowing McCrory to build up
a points lead. In the latter stages Colin was forcing the fight with
McCrory looking ever more tired. Unfortunately, Colin couldn't catch
McCrory with a clean knockout punch. After twelve rounds, with
McCrory exhausted and Colin still going forward, the decision was a
The rematch was
an equally compelling affair. Five months later, in Las Vegas, Jones
and McCrory again came face to face for the WBC title. Colin could
not have got off to a worse start. McCrory landed with a left
uppercut and Jones went down in the very first round. Spurred on by
his early success McCrory took the first 3 rounds before Colin began
to get into the fight. As with the first fight Colin stalked his opponent
throughout but landing with more punches this time causing McCrory
to wobble on several occasions. Each time McCrory would come back
with a flurry of solid punches but again it was Jones who was
landing the most telling blows.
The fight once more went the
full distance of 12 rounds. In a split decision the World title was
awarded to Milton McCrory.
In 1985, after
two knockout wins against Allan Braswell and Billy Parks, Colin
challenged Don Curry for the W.B.A. welterweight title, in what was
to turn out to be Colin's last fight. Curry's hand speed coupled
with hard accurate punches was causing Jones considerable trouble,
although Colin was connecting with solid punches of his own. The
fourth round signalled the end when Colin sustained an extremely
nasty gash across the
bridge of his nose. The deep cut was sufficiently bad for the referee to
intervene, thereby ending Colin Jones third World title attempt.
Colin announced his retirement shortly afterwards.
Colin Jones was
one of a rare breed. He could knock out opponents with either hand,
had a terrific resilience to punishment and provided immense
excitement with every fight.