Boy Jones Jr

Boy Jones Jr
Ben Jones.  Boy Jones Jr.  If you are an 18 year old about to embark on a professional boxing career, which would you opt for?  As it turns out Ben Jones wasn't an option.  "It's my real name, but there was already a fighter with the same name in my weight category" Jones tell me.  “I was mucking about and a mate of mine called me 'Kid Jones'.  Someones later called me 'Boy' and it stuck.  It's a stage name, but it helps me sell tickets!"
 
Boy Jones is a chirpy 18 year old.  I speak to him after a morning swim session and he's in the cafe.  "It's scrambled eggs and tomato" he tells me, so no worries about piling on the pounds.  He's growing into his stature - at 6 foot 1 and fighting in the super featherweight division he has a natural advantage over many of his opponents.  "Everyone says I struggle at the weight because of my height, but I'm skinny.  I'll slowly put on weight - I can't fight at super feather forever, no doubt I'll go up in weight soon."  
 
3 fights in to his professional career he is happy to take his time and progress.  He hasn't come from the traditional route of an amateur background.  "I had a few unlicenced fights.  I was only 16 when I started, I was fighting against grown men.  To be honest I was learning my trade in the gyms sparring, the fights were a bit of fun.  I was in with the pro's like Lee Markham.  I had Dom and Lenny (his trainers) teaching me."
 
When he turned 18 he wanted to get his professional licence.  "As soon as I walked in to a gym I knew I wanted to turn pro.  My style is just more suited to it than the amateurs.  And anyway, the Mexican fighters turn professional that age or before, so why shouldn't we over here?"
 
Of course the most famous Mexican example of recent time of such an early cross over is Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.  Aged 15 he took to the pro circuit, and now at only 24 has 47 fights under his belt and is a former world champion.  For Jones, it's all about taking it one step at a time.  "We want to get this year out of the way then see which route I will take.  I'm only 18, I've just started out on my journey.  But I know of a few people that have put a bet on me to be British champion by the time I'm 23 - you can get good odds on it and make a few quid!  But I'm just enjoying every day, I'm not looking forward to years ahead, I look forward to tomorrow."
 
He's infectious in his enthusiasm for his training, his job and the opportunities in front of him.  Most 18 year olds would be happy at this age earning a few pounds and going out with friends at the weekend.  That life doesn't appeal to Jones.  "All my mates are down the gy anyway to be honest.  I see it as putting in the hard work now and then later on in life I can enjoy myself."
 
There's no doubt that he is putting the hard work in now.  Jones has a fight coming up on July 24th at Wembley Arena on the undercard of Frank Buglioni's world title shot against Fedor Chudinov.  It will be his fourth outing since his debut in Ferbuary of this year.  So far Jones has got two wins and a draw, the draw coming in his last fight against Jamie Quinn in June.  Was that result a disappointment or a learning experience?
 
"I thought I had won the fight - if I'm being generous I thought he won the first round.  I spoke with Frank (Warren) after and he thought I won it - Even Dom thought I won it, and he's my worst critic.  Undoubtedly it's disappointing, it feels like a loss to me and a win for him."
It may have been a disappointment but he gets the chance to rectify that in two weeks.  His opponent has been announced, but Jones chooses not to focus on who he is fighting.  "Dom does the research, comes up with the plans in the gym.  I know he's a southpaw."  Does fighting a southpaw worry him?  "I am going to fight them as I progress anyway, so it doesn't bother me.  I need to get that over and done with early.  It's all about the learning at this stage and being able to adapt."
 
Philosophical views from the young man hailing from Chingford.  He's humble and thoughtful - when I push him on which fighter of the modern era he would like to step in the ring with he declines to commit; "I'm not someone to call out other fighters - I know when to keep my mouth shut!  I don't want to disrespect anyone.    I'll pick Mayweather, give me a decent pay day."
 
In an era where we hear of 18 year old footballers in the limelight demanding values unheard of to common people, it is refreshing to hear Jones with his feet on the floor.  It's easy to forget that he is signed with one of the largest promoters in the country, Frank Warren, and will soon be fighting in front of a few thousand at Wembley Arena.  The relationship with Warren came about via his manager, Warren's right hand man Andy Ayling.  
 
"Andy's my manager, he came and saw me at the gym and he won't take on any mug.  I've got a massive thanks to say to Frank and Andy.  They're getting me on the big bills and it gets me noticed.  The fight on the 24th is part of a good bill - hopefully Frank wins and the whole nation gets behind him.  Of course it helps that I sell a few tickets so I get on these cards, my mum and Dom do the graft for me on that.  But then I get my name up on the posters and it raises my profile - plus I'm a cheeky lad and everyone loves me!"
 
At 18 there are many challenges that Jones will face in the future.  He knows it - by his own admission he is learning and is a humble person.  The name will help his exposure of course, but once the novelty wears off he will have a chance to allow writers and critics to focus on his graft and aggressive fighting nature - he will have a real opportunity to show off the best of the Boy.
 
Jones asked us to thank his sponsors Pro Money, The Khaven Group, Mama Mias, Woody's Barber Shop and Scafforce.