Gorilla Jones

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Early 1930s publicity photo
Class of 2009
Old Timer Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Gorilla Jones
Birth Name: William Jones
Hometown: Akron, Ohio, USA
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Died: 1982-01-04 (Age:75)
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 175cm
Reach: 189cm
Pro Boxer: Record

Manager: Suey Welch
Trainer: Joe Stanley

  • Photo #2: Jones posing in boxing stance
  • Photo #3: Jones between Gus Lesnevich and Freddie Steele
  • William "Gorilla" Jones is to be distinguished from the original Gorilla Jones, who campaigned from 1913 to 1922.
  • The nickname Gorilla was attributed to Jones's long reach of 75 inches. In 1932, Beacon Journal sports scribe Jim Schlemmer said the Gorilla moniker didn't fit "in looks or actions" and called Jones "as classy a piece of fighting machinery as the game has known."
  • Jones knocked out Oddone Piazza in six rounds to win the vacant National Boxing Association World Middleweight Championship on January 25, 1932. The championship had been vacated by Mickey Walker, who relinquished the title to campaign at heavyweight.
  • In his second title defense, Jones lost the title to Marcel Thil by an 11th-round disqualification on June 11, 1932.
  • Jones knocked out Sammy (Kid) Slaughter in seven rounds to win the NBA American Middleweight Championship on January 30, 1993. Some record books inaccurately reported that the fight was for the NBA world title.
  • Jones fought Freddie Steele for the NBA/NYSAC World Middleweight Championship on January 1, 1937, and lost by a 10-round unanimous decision.
  • The International Boxing Hall of Fame lists Jones's record as 101-24-13 with 52 knockouts. Jones was never knocked out in 138 professional fights.

Post Boxing Career

Jones was a trainer on the Pacific Coast from the mid-1940s until the 1970s, working with Irish Bob Murphy, Freddie Beshore, Johnny Wells, Milo Savage, Charley Powell, and Gil King.

Jones also worked as a chauffeur and bodyguard for actress Mae West.