Crawley boxer Ben Jones fulfilled the ambition of a lifetime when he won the WBO European Super-featherweight title.
The Northgate fighter earned a unanimous decision which sealed a comprehensive points victory over 12 rounds against Scotland’s Kris Hughes.
His 25-year-old opponent from Bellshill near Glasgow had twice challenged for a Commonweatlh title and proved to be an awkward obstacle standing in the way of the Northgate fighter adding the European crown to his previous English and IBO International belts.
Jones, 30, was in great form fighting in front of 500 of his home town fans and around 1,000 spectators in total at the successful show at K2.
He was led out to the ring by two Crawley Town players, Nick Adams and Mark Connolly.
Although never in trouble, Ben took a round or two to get into his stride and then after the fourth, won the rest of the contest except the eighth.
He was on the front foot throughout the fifth and landed some hefty uppercuts to the face and full-strength body blows to the abdomen with both hands before pinning Hughes in a corner for the last 30 seconds.
From this point onward Jones dominated, winning the sixth and most of the remaining rounds but not without injury as he suffered a bleeding nose following some clean hits to the face.
After losing the eighth he went on to dominate the last four rounds. Hughes had looked sharp and fit despite taking the fight with just eight days notice after the withdrawal of orginal opponent Paul Truscott.
Hughes frequently resorted to slowing the contest down by gripping Jones’ head with his arms which earned a few seconds rest until the pair were separated by referee Bob Williams.
Jones started upping the pace in the ninth when Hughes was forced back on to the ropes and had to dodge a barrage of punches as the Crawley man went for the kill.
The 10th and 11th rounds were more of the same as the tiring Hughes protected his head with his arms and offered little in reply to Jones’ firepower.
Hughes bravely hung on despite a final round flourish from the durable Crawley man.
The three judges scored it heavily in Jones’ favour: 119-109, 119-111 and 120-109 which summed up most fans’ view that it a sizeable win.