by James Slater – Exciting British lightweight Jon “Jono” Thaxton, the current European champion at 135-pounds, has had one long ride as a pro boxer. Making his debut way back in December of 1992, the 34-year-old admits himself that he is somewhat surprised he is still going after almost seventeen years as a pro. However, one of the reasons the Norwich fighter HAS kept going is because he has yet to realise his main goal – that of becoming champion of the world..
In an interview with Norwich Evening News, the European champ who defends his belt on Feb. 28th, against Frenchman Anthony Mezaache, spoke of how his career would end as a real Cinderella Man story if he were finally to get his hands on a world title.
Thaxton, who has already upset the odds by becoming European king – the title won with a sensational one-punch KO of Spaniard Juan Carlos Diaz Melero in the 3rd round back in October – began by reminiscing on all the ups and downs his long career has seen.
“When I look back through my career and what I’ve been through, coming back from the car crash (that almost ended his career) to win the British and European titles then I think, why not go all the way when I’ve come this far,” Thaxton said. “It really would be a modern day Cinderella Man story and a real fairy tail, but it’s one I certainly believe in.
“I love it when people say I’m finished because I get a lot of motivation out of proving the naysayers wrong. I have to credit my wife with a lot of it. When I lost to Eamonn Magee seven years ago a lot of people were telling me to hang up the gloves. But through all the bad times my wife’s encouraged me and pushed me to keep going because she knew it was still in me and that I still had the hunger to do it.”
Thaxton’s wife was correct to have done what she did, for after the 6th round TKO loss to Magee in a Commonwealth light-welterweight bout, Thaxton went on to win twelve straight fights – including picking up the British lightweight title in late 2006. A loss on cuts to then European champ Yuri Romanov in April of last year hurt, but the 34-year-old southpaw then bounced back with the career-best punch against the Spaniard.
Now wanting to put the icing on his fine career by at least challenging for a world title, Thaxton, 34-8(19) must see off his French challenger first. The world lightweight scene is a touch chaotic today, due to former unified ruler Nate Campbell having been forced to vacate his world titles due to his failure to make weight last time out – will “Jono” be able to take advantage of this situation and perhaps get a shot at one of the available belts? The 34-year-old has more than earned his shot, that’s for sure.
As much as he’d love to become world champion, Thaxton also wants to give his fans yet more exciting fights. As such, he would relish the opportunity of facing either Amir Khan (a man he has called out God knows how many times!) or Michael Katsidis.
“I’ve never ducked anybody in my life,” Thaxton said proudly. “In fact when people ask me who I’d like to fight I normally say either Amir Khan or Michael Katsidis. Neither of them hold any titles at the moment, but I know for a fact they would be really exciting [fights] for the fans. They’d be great fights but I guarantee I’d win them.”
First, Thaxton must get past his French opponent on Feb. 28th. He has no doubts he will do so.
“I’m really up for this one; training has gone better than ever,” Thaxton said. “I want to win this in style and make a real statement.”