No, other state besides Texas has produced more blue-chip prospects in recent memory than has Ohio. The Buckeye state has a long history of excelling at the sweet science and producing world champs. It may, with an assist from Matchroom Boxing just given the boxing world its next great Ohian world champ. Otha Jones, who is better known as OJ3, set the boxing world abuzz with his sensational pro debut, a UD victory over the 5-1 (3) Giorgi Gelashvili in Gelashvili home state. Gelashvili who hails from Brooklyn was once a highly regarded prospect himself before taking a long lay off. Giorgi was considered a big risk and was expected to give OJ3 a test.
The Brooklynite was no match for the 19-year-old Ohian who dominated the six-round affair from start to finish. Jones dominated the first two rounds with a pinpoint right hand that was lightning quick and on the button landing at will. The third round saw Jones get tested and pressured by the rugged New Yorker. Gelashvili is a good, solid fighter and was a highly regarded prospect himself not long ago and showed up not to compete but to win. Jones’ chin certainly passed the test as he handled the shots from the more experienced fighter very well and was able to resume control of the fight. Jones bounced back in the fourth picking clean thudding shots hurting Gelashvili and even dropping him once. Jones also absorbed some shots quite nicely. In the end, all three judges gave OJ3 a wide decision by scores of 59-54 and 58-55 twice. Jones said of his pro debut “It’s a dream come true now I get to get paid for it”
When asked when we can expect him back? The confident 19-year old replied with “Tomorrow I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow” Jones who fought at lightweight but who weighed only 132-pounds, or three full pounds below the lightweight limit can easily make 130. When asked what weight we could expect him to return to the ring at, he replied with “let me get with my team” the most likely weight for Jones to fight at is the Super Featherweight limit of 130 pounds. Meaning 126, will ahve Shakur Stevenson, the lightweight division will have Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez and the 130-pound division will ahve Otha Jones III. An exciting time for the young phenom and for fight fans to have so much young talent, that’s so young and so similar in weight. This could and should lead to a golden era in and around these weight classes.