A Jones For Boxing
Jose Jones is contagiously positive, genteel, and vibrant.
He can also knock your damn head off your shoulders.
Shamrock Fighting Championships brings Xtreme Fight Night 7 to the Lumiere Casino on Saturday. In the co-main event, Jones will face heavy-handed Bo Smith in a pro boxing bout.
Jones, who improved his record to 2-2 with a win over James Page in February of last year at Xtreme Fight Night 2, may very well hang up the gloves after Saturday.
"I want it to be the last fight," Jones said. "I turn 34-years-old in September and that is when I said I would retire. If a fun opportunity happens to come up before then, maybe I will take it. But I feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do in boxing."
Jones is an interesting study.
He came to Lindenwood University in 2002 from the Republic of Panama to pursue an undergraduate degree in mass communications. He completed the program in 2005 and became a graduate assistant in the Business Office while enrolled in graduate school. While at Lindenwood his drive toward learning became a near obsession. He eventually amassed three master's degrees; international business, professional counseling, and school counseling. But he wasn't finished. Jones soon after earned his doctorate in instructional leadership with an emphasis in andragogy.
Just when you think, "book worm," Jones counter punches.
He began boxing at the age of 14 in Panama City, Panama. Jones' father had a flare for the sport and Jose is the younger cousin of former WBA Cruiserweight Champion Guillermo Jones. Jones eventually piled up the amateur boxing bouts and was a two-time Golden Gloves champ.
"I always told myself that I wanted to have five-to-seven pro fights," Jones said. "But I had no idea that my counseling career would take off at the same time. I could have done more (in boxing) but during those years getting my master's and finishing my PhD, education became my priority."
During his undergraduate career, the Lindenwood football coach spotted Jones on campus and suggested he try out for the team. Jones was on the sidelines for two years where he ran into Ryan Coyne, one of the more well-known boxers out of St. Louis. Coyne told Jones about a gym near campus that was available to students.
"It was a free boxing gym, how can I say no?" Jones said.
Soon after his amateur career moved full-steam ahead. Jones eventually set up camp at St. Charles boxing club and teamed with head trainer Mike Shipley. That is where Jones developed his composed in-ring style.
"I definitely like to take my time and figure out my opponent," Jones said. "I'm a good counter puncher, good defense, and I like to switch my stances up."
While at Lindenwood, Jones has started a legacy building program. He created and teaches Boxing Therapy Boot Camp at Lindenwood. The class is aimed at helping students manage stress and boost their self-esteem. Jones has geared portions of the program around those with autism and other social disorders.
"Some of them have anger issues or lack motivation," Jones said. "I implement boxing with the therapy. It is a safe place to work out and we can talk. It is all about living life without a label. When I see them smiling and having re-energized motivation, it fills my heart."
Were it not for the sweet science Jones can't fathom where he would be now.
"Boxing gave me the drive," he said. "It taught me to never give up and to keep going. It is the biggest philosophy in life. Life is a fight. Keep your head and move forward."
To read more about XFN 7, read our preview.
Jones photo courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography