Gay boxer upbeat despite defeat at hands of Tory MP

Lucy Durnin April 21, 2008
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The Pink Pounder may have lost his latest boxing match, but he won’t be throwing in the towel just yet.

Charles Jones, a 48-year old architect from London, is considered to be the world’s first openly gay boxer.

He has been a regular participant in white-collar boxing for the past five years and fought his latest bout against Conservative MP for Monmouth David Davies.

Davies, 37, beat him on points over three rounds, in a result that disappointed Jones and his supporters.

Jones told “In the weeks leading up to the fight, everyone was telling me I had to win and make mincemeat of him.

“I’m not sure whether that was because they wanted me to win or because they wanted to see an MP get beaten up, but suffice to say it was a disappointment when I lost.

“In my defence, he is eleven years my junior and extremely strong, but I was still on my feet by the end of the match, which is always a bonus.”

“White-collar” or “City boxing” allows professional men and women, most of whom have no previous experience, to train and fight at special boxing events.

Originating in New York, the sport first came to prominence in London in the 1990s, when businessman Alan Lacey founded The Real Fight Club, aimed at City executives.

The “upmarket” branch of the sport has seen an influx of middle-class fighters who train for matches alongside their high-paid City careers.

Jones won his first fight in January 2003, after training in The Ring, a London gym run by former fighter Mark Burford, who now acts as his manager.

It was Burford who created Jones’ now famous nickname, ‘The Pink Pounder,’ a title Jones was initially wary of.

“Part of me did worry about how people would react to me being gay, particularly when interest in who I was began to spiral.

“Although I have had a lot of critique about my boxing skills, those comments are justified and I have never experienced any negative press about my sexuality.

“I try to promote a positive image of what a gay man is. I’m not a gay man who happens to box; I’m a boxer who happens to be a gay man.”

Yet Jones believes that it is his status as a white-collar boxer that has helped the boxing community accept his sexuality.

“The world of white-collar boxing is significantly less intense than the mainstream sport and real boxers wouldn’t see me as a threat.

“I can hold my own with other white-collar fighters, but even an amateur boxer would wipe me out in a traditional ring.

“Maybe if I was 20 and a rising star in an amateur boxing ring, people may be a bit more aware of my sexuality.”

Following his defeat last week, Jones has put his boxing training on hold and is currently focusing on his career.

But he isn’t ruling out the possibility of a comeback fight just yet.

“I hope to get back in the ring again at some point. Although next time, I want to fight someone a little bit closer to my own age.”


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