Luke Jones is anticipating a “cracker” when he challenges for the Midlands featherweight title as the under-dog next month.
Jones will jostle with unbeaten favourite James Beech Jr over 10 scheduled rounds, with the vacant area crown on the line.
They headline BCB Promotions’ offering in the Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium, Walsall Football Club, on Saturday December 7. The bill is titled ‘Battle at the Banks’s.’
The two former sparring partners vie for a belt last held by Leigh Wood, who has since gone on to win Commonwealth honours.
Wood never defended the strap he claimed in 2016 by beating Lee Glover, who had been paired with Jones at one point before Beech came into the reckoning.
Another incentive is their meeting doubling up as an eliminator for the English title, which is expected to be relinquished by Reece Mould.
Jones must take the ‘0’ of Beech and thwart him from becoming a two-weight Midlands boss to sample glory on fight night.
The 25-year-old has a chequered pro record of six wins, two defeats and one draw from nine pro outings, with the latter stalemate the only time he’s failed to complete the distance.
That ended in a technical draw after just one round against Alec Bazza, with both men unable to continue after they were left badly cut from an accidental clash of heads.
His first loss later came to Dean Evans, a journeyman who upset the odds to end Jones’ undefeated streak by two rounds on points, with a 39-37 scoreline recorded.
ones was then entered into a tournament where the Midlands title at super feather was the prize, taking on former champion Paul Holt in a six-rounder.
After a thrilling affair, Holt squeezed past him by a point to put a second pro setback on his standing, but the 58-57 verdict proved it was close.
Jones has since added more victories over Russ Midgley and Waqas Mohammed, who were outpointed like Joe Beeden, Harvey Hemsley, Qasim Hussain and Andy Harris before him.
Beech will be in his backyard, as he comes from nearby Bloxwich, but Jones will have less than 10 miles to travel from his home in Chasetown.
He said: “I’ve been after the Midlands title for a while, I originally thought it was going to be me and Lee, I never expected it to be James instead.
“It was only a few months ago we were sparring. We had a couple of good, hard sessions, you’d have paid money to watch us.
“The spars between us were close, so we’ll both go in there thinking we can win, so I reckon this one is going to be a cracker.
“It’s a 50-50 fight and that’s what I want to be involved with. I relish the opportunity and I’m sure he’s doing the same.
“He’s unbeaten, I’ve had a couple of defeats and a draw but also some good wins. I always rated beating Waqas as the best of them.
“He would have boxed my head off, if I’d let him, but I showed what I can do and won every round in the end.
“It was a strange one against Alec Bazza, we butted heads in the first 30 seconds and then it was over. He came off worse, I got glued up but he had eight stitches.
“When I lost to Dean Evans, I got caught cold in the second round and managed to recover. I felt it was enough to win, but it’s difficult to get back over four rounds.
“Then there was Paul Holt. The referee came to the wrong decision, even Paul told me afterwards he thought I won. I knew it was close, but I thought I’d edged it.
“Everyone that was there that night really enjoyed the fight, so imagine what it’s going to be like between me and James. It’s going to be even better.
“James will know he’s got to be switched on against me. I’ll come forward, I’ve got good fitness, I can box and mix it up.”
The show will start at 6pm and end by 9pm, where screens will then be used at the venue to broadcast the world title fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.
Joshua attempts to regain his WBA ‘super,’ WBO, IBF and IBO belts from Ruiz in Saudi Arabia, who are three hours ahead of UK time.
Tickets for the bill at Walsall FC are on sale now, which are priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP with a hot fork buffet.
They are available by calling the BCB Box Office on 07493 582 261 or online here.
It will be £40 for entry on the door.