Boxer Ben Jones almost quit after world title fight blow
BEN JONES admits he almost quit boxing after seeing his dream shot at the world title fall through.
The 31-year-old super-featherweight was hoping to fight Puerto Rican Argenis Mendez for the International Boxing Federation crown this October at the Broadfield Stadium.
However, the proposed bout collapsed when Crawley Town pulled out of hosting the contest, amid fears the show would cause major damage to club's pitch.
And Jones says missing out on fighting for a world title in his home town made him question whether he had the desire to continue.
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"When I heard Crawley had decided to pull out I thought that was it for me," he said.
"There is so much politics in boxing and to have this chance taken away from me because we couldn't find a venue was heartbreaking.
"There are only so many disappointments you can take and I didn't know if I wanted to carry on fighting. But I still think I have a lot to offer the sport and have a few options ahead of me now. I want to have something sorted soon and definitely need to fight again before the end of the year."
Jones has been seeking a big-money pay-day since claiming the World Boxing Association European title against Kris Hughes at the K2 in February. And the former Crawley Amateur Boxing Club star says he thought he would become Britain's fifth current world champion when a deal with the New York-based Mendez was first touted.
"The club said they didn't want to do it as it could mess their pitch up, but other clubs like West Ham have hosted boxing on their pitch and it has worked fine," added Jones. "It would have been a massive thing for the town and as a boxer it would have been as big as it gets.
"Box Nation were looking to televise it over here and ESPN were interested too. Everything was in place but we just needed a venue. Unfortunately the K2 is too small, we needed about 7,000 seats, and there wasn't enough time to find an alternative as Mendez was only available to fight in October and the contracts needed to be signed."
However, Jones, who has won 15 of his 19 fights, still believes the fight could happen in the future and is keen to build his profile in the United States.
"Top Rank and Golden Boy are both keen to get me on the under-card of some of their shows coming up and I think that would be great for me," he said. "The European title gave me a world ranking and that opens a lot of doors in the USA.
"There are some big fights for me domestically still but I think they may happen further down the road. At the moment they are high-risk fights for them and the financial rewards are not big enough for them to make it worth the risk fighting me.
"Hopefully I'll have something sorted soon as it is really hard to stay motivated and keep training without anything coming up but I need to trust the people around me and not get too stressed."