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Otha Jones III wins over Eric Manriquez


Otha Jones III wins over Eric Manriquez

Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Otha Jones III wins over Eric Manriquez

Otha Jones III, in his first pro year of boxing, is one of the more exciting stories in 2019. The 19-year-old remained undefeated as he was in action Saturday night in Chicago, scoring a tough four-round majority decision over Houston’s fighter Eric Manriquez. Jones was part of the main card action of Oleksandr Usyk-Chazz Witherspoon on the streaming platform DAZN.

Judges had the scores of were 38-38 even, along with 39-37 and 40-36 in favor of Jones (4-0, 1KOs), a former amateur standout who has been matched aggressively through his first ten months as a pro.

Last night, Jones boxed better from the opening bell. Manriquez turned the tide in round three, both through clean punching and questionable moves, the latter being a headbutt that left Jones wincing out of his left eye for the rest of the fight. A two-way battle ensued in the fourth and final round, enough to even things up on one card but not quite sufficient for Manriquez (7-9-1, 3KOs) to pull off the upset from the other two scorecards.

I asked Jones who is active on Twitter after the fight about the round switch as the broadcast had him listed as a six-rounder originally but was changed to 4.  Jones, in a tweet response, advised it was changed back down to a four-rounder.

Jones spoke about to headbutt and the round adjustment to iFL TV after the fight.

You know after that headbutt I was a little bit woozy, ” Jones III said after the fight to iFL TV. “First time, real big head butt. Always work through it, get my composure back and back to the gameplan.”

Otha Jones Jr., his father, and trainer, spoke about the performance as well.

“He did great for the late change in the rounds, ” Jones Jr. said to iFL. “We were training all training camp for six rounds, and last minute, we were training for four rounds, so we had to speed up the process.”

Jones busted onto the scene in a throwback way when he fought on Matchroom Boxing cards in back to back weeks in June, victorious in both efforts. Boxers in this day and age hadn’t done weekly fights since the days of Willie Pep and World War II when it was commonplace for the era.

One thing that has to change for the Toldeo native is that this has been the third match I’ve seen of Jones on the streaming service DAZN. He has to get a picture now for Boxrec at this point.

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Marquis Johns is a unknown humorist and avid boxing fan. His love for the sweet science goes back to when matches were 15 rounds and has been covering fights since closed-circuit pay-per-views. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth is not only a quote by Mike Tyson, it's also a pretty good reminder to keep your guard up.

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