Feature Story

Brunson-Jones Preview

By Graham Houston

Last weekend on ShoBox we saw a heavy handed puncher lose his unbeaten record when John Molina was outpointed by Martin Honorio. On Friday, another undefeated young banger, the junior middleweight Tyrone Brunson, appears on ShoBox in a 10-rounder against the experienced Carson Jones. Will lightning strike twice? It will be fun finding out.

Brunson can really crack: 20 KOs in 22 bouts speaks for itself. He was taken the distance by Marcos Primera a couple of months ago in a bout that Brunson won comfortably, but it is extremely difficult to stop durable survivors such as this.

Before this, though, Brunson was held to a draw by a run-of-the-mill fighter named Antonio Soriano. I was able to see this fight. It was an interesting contest. Brunson rocked his opponent with a big left hook in the first round, and he whacked him with a right hand to the body in the second, and at this stage another KO win looked likely. Soriano kept plugging away, though, and through sheer effort he pushed his way into the fight and was going forward and doing rather well in the later stages.

I wasn’t sure what to make of the fight. Perhaps Brunson was unmotivated, or maybe he thought he just had to show up, throw one of his big right hands or left hooks, and go home. I have no doubt that he is a much better fighter than he looked that night.

Going the distance with Soriano and Primera should have done Brunson some good. He now realises that not everyone will drop to the canvas when he hits them.

Jones looks like giving Brunson a run for his money. The 23-year-old from Oklahoma City can’t match Brunson for firepower, but Jones has boxing ability and quite good hand speed and he showed considerable gameness in his bout with Jesus Soto Karass when he survived two knockdowns and came back to provide spirited resistance. He has lost every time he’s stepped up in class, but Jones seems to me the type of boxer who will always try his best and who comes into a fight believing he can win. The fight with Soto Karass was a punishing one for Jones, but he has come back with a string of wins although admittedly against opponents of no great renown.

This fight, it appears to me, has been made for two reasons: as an intended showcase for Brunson, of course, but also to see if he can fight as well as his record suggests.

Brunson has boxed as a middleweight and he had some KO wins in New Zealand, one over an opponent who outweighed him by 24 pounds. He could simply be too strong and hit too hard for Jones, and as Brunson has scored 19 first-round wins one must say that it could be over quickly.

Most of Brunson’s opponents, though, have either been boxers who were well-accustomed to getting stopped or mere novices. I think that Jones brings ambition and self-belief into the fight. He has fought a far higher standard of opponent than the ones Brunson has been meeting — Soto Karass, Alfonso Gomez, Freddy Hernandez.

I have a feeling that an upset might unfold here. The first few rounds will be very dangerous for Jones, but if he gets through them I think he can get into the fight and start to give Brunson problems with movement and hand speed. I’m going to go with Jones to spring the surprise and outpoint the KO specialist.

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