Sheffield boxer’s world title victory - 20 years late!

Former boxing world champion Paul Silky Jones taking a boxercise class as part of a Heart Research UK campaign to tackle obesity.
Former boxing world champion Paul Silky Jones taking a boxercise class as part of a Heart Research UK campaign to tackle obesity.
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Former world champion Paul Silky Jones has won his hardest ever fight - to get his hands on the world title belt he won 20 years ago.

Jones, who is from Hunters Bar area of Sheffield, became the first British boxer to win the WBO light middleweight title in 1995.

But after beating reigning champ Verno Phillips at Hillsborough, the belt was whisked away from him, in the changing room.

“I tried for ages to get a belt, but at one point the WBO said they’d never even heard of me” said Jones. “I had to borrow belts for engagements. But then my son Bradley and others campaigned on social media and I was asked to attend a meeting in Doncaster recently. Someone suddenly handed me a belt from the WBO in Puerto Rico. I was in shock, after all that time I couldn’t believe it was mine.”

Ironically, Jones, now 48 and living in Leeds, had the title stripped off him in the 90s after a dispute over his purse for the next fight. But at least he now has the trinket as physical proof of being a global champion. The retired boxer is an ambassador for Heart Research UK.

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