Mark E. Ortega

Jones willing to step in to challenge Alexander on May 18


Carson Jones (left) connects with a left during his hard-fought majority decision loss to welterweight contender Kell Brook last July.


For the third time, Devon Alexander’s mandatory defense of his IBF welterweight title against Kell Brook will be postponed after British challenger’s promoter Eddie Hearn announced that Brook suffered a stress fracture in his foot.

Alexander-Brook has been set to happen in three different months already in 2013. A Jan. 19 date was sunk when Brook suffered an ankle injury, and a Feb. 23. date was wrecked when Alexander suffered strained triceps. The most recent May 18 date, which is headlined by the Lucas Matthysse-Lamont Peterson fight, is now in jeopardy.

Kevin Bizier, an IBF approved challenger, recently declined the sanctioning organization’s offer to be a substitute challenger for Alexander on the Showtime-televised card.

However, one fighter willing to step into that May 18 date is Carson Jones, who gave Brook all the Sheffield native could handle in a fringe fight-of-the-year candidate last July. Jones came up just short, losing a 12-round majority decision as he assumed a late rally in the fight.

For most, preparing for a major fight a little more than a month away would constitute “short notice.” Not for Jones, who fought many of his most important fights on just a few weeks notice.

“If they give me the call, I’d take the fight automatically,” said Jones (34-9-3, 24 knockouts) when reached via phone on Tuesday afternoon. “A month until the fight? That’s plenty of time for someone like me.”

Jones is slated to fight April 25 against journeyman Travis Hartman in Tulsa, Okla., but is not obligated to fight and would jump at the opportunity to fight Alexander on major American television.

Jones hasn’t fought in the States his last two fights, as he turned in a disappointing performance in an eight-round draw with Dean Byrne, who was a late substitute for Lee Purdy.

“I had a lot going on in my personal life and then they told me Lee Purdy had to pull out of the fight,” said Jones when recalling why he wasn’t at his best.

“All this training and all this work, I was just let down. Finally, I got a last minute opponent. I was hoping for the Purdy fight and had to fight someone else.”

Jones proved against Brook he had what it takes to compete with top-10 rated welterweights (Brook is THE RING’s No. 5-ranked 147 pounder). One must wonder why he hasn’t gotten a call from a major American promoter to provide a stiff test to one of their many burgeoning prospects and budding contenders?

Jones’ nearly double digit losses is one reason and hasn’t fought on U.S. networks much. The Brook fight was only seen in the UK on Sky Sports. Had that fight been seen in America, perhaps Jones would have had another good opportunity by now.

“I didn’t have a lot of amateur fights, about 30 or so, before I turned pro just a few months after my 18th birthday,” explained Jones as to his less than stellar start as a pro, a 13-6-1 ledger. Since then, Jones is 21-3-2.

Jones has matured as a fighter, though he sometimes fights to the level of his competition. Against Alexander, he promises he would be at his very best, having an additional month to get ready on top of the camp he’s already had for his other fight.

“I want to fight the best and I want a title shot,” proclaimed Jones. “If I got this Alexander fight, either he’s going out on a stretcher or I am. I’d give it everything I got.”

Considering how Alexander’s most recent bouts – against Randall Bailey and Marcos Maidana – lacked excitement, it would be refreshing to see someone like Jones get the opportunity.



 Photo / Paul Thomas-Getty Images

Mark E. Ortega is the boxing columnist for the Martinez News-Gazette and is a member of the Boxing Writers Assoc. of America and the RING Ratings Advisory Panel. He can be reached via e-mail at markeortega@gmail.comas well as followed on Twitter @MarkEOrtega.

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