Challenger now champion

CHAMPION: Jesse Jones (centre) claimed the SA Challenge belt over the weekend. He is pictured with Warlocks Whyalla teammates Lewis Polkinghorne and Corey Gibbons.

CHAMPION: Jesse Jones (centre) claimed the SA Challenge belt over the weekend. He is pictured with Warlocks Whyalla teammates Lewis Polkinghorne and Corey Gibbons.

Boxing a man older and bigger than him clearly doesn’t seem to faze 16-year-old Jesse Jones too much.

Despite feeling nerves before the fight, Warlocks Whyalla’s boxing prodigy was cool, calm and collected in the way he dispatched Shaun Laba to claim the SA Challenge Belt at the September Showdown in Adelaide.

“After the first round I felt like I was where I wanted to be. I felt like I had control throughout the whole fight,” he said.

According to Jesse preparations before the match focused on getting up close and personal to land a number of body shots.

“That worked out perfectly,” he said.

It was the best feeling coming out with that belt, since we have gone for it before.

Jesse Jones.

Obtaining the belt has been a major goal for Jesse since he started boxing, and he recently came close to realising that dream, only to lose by split decision to a tough opponent.

Rather than letting that loss keep him down, Jesse rebounded to claim the Queensland Golden Gloves two weeks ago. With this title win, Jesse has emerged victorious from three fights in a row.

“It was the best feeling coming out with that belt, since we have gone for it before. Finally getting it is an amazing feeling,” he said.

“I’ve been dreaming of having that happen to me. It’s one of those little goals I wanted to achieve in life, and when I achieved it I knew all the hard work was worth it.”

Now as the SA Challenge Belt holder, Jesse hopes he’ll see more fights come his way.

“It’s always hard to get fights, especially in SA. Having people challenge me is going to benefit me in the best way possible,” he said.

Next up for Jesse is state titles, and should he win his state title bout, Jesse will be heading to nationals to take on the best Australia has to offer.

Warlocks Coach Justin Fennell said Jesse ‘outclassed and outboxed’ his opponent for all three rounds.

“Jesse listened perfectly the whole fight. We had a game plan of low-high, high-low to hit the body, then the head, then the body,” he said.

Another Warlocks Whyalla boxer, Billy Jasper, had his first fight at the showdown, going down by decision to a more experienced opponent. 

Mr Fennell praised Billy, saying he was ‘super proud’ of the younger boxer and his work ethic leading up to the fight.