Ed (Too Tall) Jones vs. Abraham Yaqui Meneses

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Too Tall Jones sticks out his long left against Meneses

Ed Jones 256 lbs beat Abraham Meneses 204 lbs by MD in round 6 of 6

  • Unofficial AP scorecard: 57-57

This was the professional debut of former NFL All-Pro defensive end Ed (Too Tall) Jones.

From Sports Illustrated, November 12, 1979:

If character is an accumulation of painful experiences, as someone once suggested, then Jones was a better man last Saturday night than he was last Saturday morning. He beat Meneses on a majority decision that afternoon, winning the bout on points scored in the first four rounds, but not before Meneses hit him with two stinging left hooks in the sixth and last round, one a flagrantly illegal blow while Jones was down. Those punches left Too Tall walking like a giraffe with arthritis and plunged the fight into a swirl of controversy and confusion before a crowd of 9,100 and a nationwide television audience.

It all began when Meneses hooked Jones on the side of his head. The blow staggered Jones, leaving him off balance, startled and apparently hurt. Meneses then plowed into Jones, shoving him back with both hands. No offensive lineman ever had it so easy with Too Tall. He toppled backward, falling in his corner on the seat of his gorgeous burgundy-colored velvet trunks. Meneses loomed over him and, while Jones sat there, bent down and crashed a second hook to his cheek, snapping his head hard to the side. "Estaba bien excitado," the contrite Meneses would say. "No pense." (I was totally excited; I didn't think.)

At once Referee Buddy Basilico leaped in and ordered Meneses to a neutral corner. Basilico had seen the illegal chop, but at the time had thought it was "too light to affect the outcome of the fight." It was only later, after he had gone to the CBS truck to watch the replay, that he realized the strength of the blow. "In the ring I didn't think the second blow was devastating," he said, "but later I saw it was."

After ushering Meneses to a neutral corner, Basilico returned to Jones, who was still on the canvas. Basilico heard Bobby Serrano, the timekeeper for knockdowns, calling out "six...seven." As Serrano reached eight, Jones precariously gained his legs. "I'm not a physician, or anything like that, but Jones was in a semiconscious state," Basilico said. "You could just see it in his eyes."

As Basilico stood in front of Jones, Too Tail's trainer, Murphy Griffith, suddenly leaped upon the apron of the ring, outside the ropes—where it's illegal for a cornerman to go—and twice tried to flash what appeared to Basilico to be a capsule of ammonia under Jones' nose. Basilico twice pushed Griffith's hand away. Griffith would contend later that he was merely trying to wipe Jones' eyes with a piece of gauze. But Basilico, a former New York referee now working out of Las Vegas, scoffed at that explanation. "It looked to me like he had the capsule under his nose," Basilico said.

To make things even more chaotic, while this was happening Meneses charged from his neutral corner and went after Jones, who was still standing in dream city. "Meneses came out prematurely," Basilico said. "He's not supposed to come out until I wave him back and say, 'Box.' So I took him back to his corner. Actually I pushed him back. With the time he lost there, I think he could have taken Jones out. He lost precious seconds."

Basilico then wiped Jones' gloves—a standard procedure after a knockdown, because the gloves pick up resin that can burn an opponent's eyes—and waved Meneses back into the fight. TV reruns of the knockdown showed that the whole episode—from the initial knockdown to the resumption of fighting—consumed from 24 to 27 seconds, more than enough time, as it turned out, for Jones' cobwebs to vanish. He survived the rest of the round.

Basilico said he didn't disqualify either fighter because both sides circumvented the rules—Meneses by hitting Jones when he was down, Griffith by hopping up on the apron and trying to treat his fighter in the course of the bout. Basilico could not very well punish one side without punishing the other. And it all happened so fast. "They nullified each other," Basilico said.

The crowd, which had cheered roundly every time Meneses landed a blow, was enraged when the decision was announced—two officials narrowly favored Jones, the referee had it a draw—sailing balled-up programs into the ring and sending up choruses of boos. [1]