Nine Minutes of Mayhem in Philadelphia

By Ted Sares - The following is taken, from my new book entitled “Reelin’ in the Years: Boxing and More”, due out in November 2008.

The Setting

On March 10, 1992, welterweight Tim Rabon met Philadelphian William “The Hammer” Jones at the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia in a 4-rounder that was televised on Tuesday Night fights as part of a bigger venue. Those who were fortunate enough to see this one will never forget it. Rabon was 13-7-2 at the time.. Jones was 18-0 but his only notable win was a KO over Rafael Williams, and his overall level of opposition was very poor. In fact, only five opponents had winning records. As well, most of the Hammer’s fights took place in the friendly confines of the Blue Horizon.

Rabon, out of Broussard, Louisiana, had duked with much better fighters, but had just fair success. He was knocked out by Santos Cardona and Tyrone Moore, fought a draw with then undefeated Chad Parker (19-0), split a pair of SD’s with Jason Watters, and lost on points to Kevin Pompey, Reggie Miller and the very capable Aussie Jeff “Flash” Malcom (for the IBC Welterweight Title). Malcom was 77-21-10 at the time. One other thing, Rabon was a National Golden Gloves Champion in 1984 (along with such notables as Ronnie Essett, Virgil Hill, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson). On paper, the undefeated Jones looked ripe for the picking.

The Fight

The fight was a barnburner during the first two rounds with both tall and skinny fighters wasted no time as they teed off on each other with long and looping shots that had deadly intentions written all over them. The punishment absorbed by both fighters was alarming, and those at ringside were sprayed by the sweat as each thundering shot came down the pike. Then, in the incredible third round, things heated up fast as “The Hammer” lived up to his nickname by flooring and punishing Rabon in the early going and appeared to be on his way to a crunching finish.

But miraculously, Rabon caught Jones with a solid hook that had him hurt and hanging on. He then floored him and when he got up, stalked him down like a Tiger sensing a fresh kill and floored him again. But in so doing, he used up serious energy and Jones knew it. Indeed, Rabon had punched himself out and was now helpless and ready to be hammered into submission, but time was running out. With seconds to go in the round, Jones backed Rabon into a corner and took him out with a single debilitating shot to the liver. The bell had rung but Tim could not get up. He was counted out four seconds after the round was over. These nine minutes of unmitigated mayhem featured everything: give and take, ebb and flow, courage, determination and ferocity.

Rabon would lose most of his remaining fights against very creditable opposition and finished with a slate of 14-12-2. Jones would never be the same losing two of his next four. Both defeats came at the hands of another Philadelphian, ultra tough Eric Holland. His final record was 21-2 and he retired in 1994 after being KOd by Holland in 1995

The career of both would be defined by what happened at the Blue Horizon on March 10, 1992. They call it the “Legendary Blue Horizon” and fights like this contributed greatly to that moniker.

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Article posted on 19.09.2008

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