Boxing

Guillermo Jones: Can He Make It As A Heavyweight? Set To Return To The Division On Dec. 17th

By James Slater - No sooner does Panama’s Guillermo Jones finally return to the ring to defend his WBA cruiserweight title - for his first defence of the belt he won back in 2008 - he then decides to make the move up to heavyweight. It’s been reported by a number of sources that the 38-year-old will try his hand against the big men of the sport, and Boxrec have the man known as “El Felino” down as fighting at heavyweight on December 17th, on the Odlanier Solis-Ray Austin card in Miami.

According to Boxrec, Jones, 37-3-2(29) will face DaVarryl Williamson on the card, over an as yet undetermined amount of rounds.. Joining the likes of Evander Hoyfield and, more recently, David Haye as cruiserweights who opted to move up to heavyweight, Jones will be hoping for as much success as those cruisers enjoyed. But can the veteran, who began his pro career way back in 1993, make it against the top heavyweights of today?

Amazingly, Jones turned pro down at welterweight, and he then went up the divisions one by one, even twice challenging for the WBA light-middleweight title (losing to and drawing with Laurent Boudouani in 1998). Jones then looked to have settled down as a cruiserweight, drawing with WBO champ Johnny Nelson in 2002, losing a split decision to future world champ Steve Cunningham in 2005 and then stopping established cruiser Wayne Braithwaite in the 4th-round in late 2005.

But then, in 2007, Jones belted out a couple of wins up at heavyweight; over Jeremy Bates and Zack Page. Before finally winning a world title, at 200-pounds, in 2008 - TKO’ing Firat Arslan in the 10th. Fans saw Jones return to the ring a few weeks ago, when he stopped Valery Brudov in the 11th-round in what was his first defence, and now he plans a full-time heavyweight invasion. It really has been one strange career for Jones.

There have been long layoffs, a climb through six weight divisions, a failed post-fight drugs test (after the Nelson fight) and now the move back up to heavyweight. But at age 38, and after all the inactivity he’s endured, has Jones left it too late to make it as a serious heavyweight?

The fight against Williamson (if it happens) will only give us a little bit of an idea of how far Jones can go as a heavy. “Touch of Sleep” is now aged 42 and he has been far from active himself. Last fighting in October of last year, Williamson, 26-6(22) was halted in the 4th-round by Ray Austin (Solis’ foe on the Dec. 17th card), and his last meaningful win came over Oliver McCall in 2004. Still, Williamson is experienced, having fought two world champions in Chris Byrd (for the IBF belt) and Wladimir Kitschko (in a non-title fight that took place before Klitschko reached the dominant level he is now at). And the big guy with the original nickname did okay in those two fights; losing a decision to Byrd and losing on a TD to Kitschko (at least he wasn’t KO’d).

Williamson can punch, but he can also be taken out himself. Jones is no powder-puff puncher (as his 29 stoppage wins show) and he has a good chin (stopped just once, down at light-middleweight). But can his punches and his chin deal with the big men?

Some people will possibly feel Jones is moving up in weight simply to cash in and grab a big payday before he retires. This could be the case, but at 6’4” (how did he ever make welterweight!) and with the skills he has, Jones could be both big enough and good enough to give some of the heavyweight contenders a tough time. Beating one of the Klitschkos, or even David Haye, is another thing altogether though.

If he takes care of Williamson in impressive fashion, Guillermo Jones could make some noise in the Klitschko-dominated weight class.

Article posted on 25.10.2010



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