Gorilla Jones

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Gorilla Jones
Gorilla Jones.jpg
Real name William Landon Jones
Nickname(s) Gorilla
Weight(s) Middleweight
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Reach 75 in (191 cm)
Nationality United States American
Born (1906-05-12)May 12, 1906
Memphis, Tennessee
Died January 4, 1982(1982-01-04) (aged 75)
Los Angeles, California
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 144
Wins 104
Wins by KO 55
Losses 25
Draws 13
No contests 3

William Landon Jones (1906–1982) known as "Gorilla" Jones, was an American boxer who held the NBA Middleweight Boxing Championship of the World. Although he was nicknamed "Gorilla" for his exceptional reach, Jones is to be distinguished from the original "Gorilla Jones", who campaigned from 1913 to 1924 and held the World Colored Welterweight title. Jones was never knocked out although he himself won by 52 knockouts out of 101 wins over 141 total fights.[1] He was posthumously inducted into World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009.


Jones was an African American man born in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 12, 1906. He dropped out of school and eventually started boxing at age 18.

World middleweight champion[edit]

Jones turned professional in 1923 with Stephen "Suey" Welch as manager and trained with Joe Stanley.[1] He won the vacant National Boxing Association World Middleweight Title with a win over Oddone Piazza in 1925. He lost the belt later that year to Frenchman Marcel Thil through disqualification.[1]

In 1937 he took on Freddie Steele, the National Boxing Association World Middleweight and NYSAC World Middleweight Title holder, but lost to a decision. His last win was two years later in 1939, and he lost his last fight in 1940, when he retired from boxing.[2]

Later life[edit]

Jones was a trainer on the Pacific Coast from the mid-to-late 1940s until the 1970s, working with Milo Savage, Johnny Wells, Irish Bob Murphy, and later with Suey Welch's boxer Gil King during the early 1970s. He also worked for Mae West whom he had known since he was 22, becoming her boyfriend, chauffeur and bodyguard. West was his employer, friend and supporter until her death in 1980.[3]


Jones died from arteriosclerosis on January 4, 1982, in Los Angeles, California, aged 75.[1]

Notable bouts[edit]

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes[4]
Loss United States Babe Risko PTS 10 1938-05-10 United States Armory, Akron, Ohio
Loss United States Freddie Steele UD 10 1937-01-01 United States Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin For NBA & NYSAC World Middleweight Titles.
Loss United States Freddie Steele UD 10 1935-09-17 United States Civic Ice Arena, Seattle, Washington
Draw United States Freddie Steele UD 10 1935-09-17 United States Civic Ice Arena, Seattle, Washington
NC United States Ben Jeby NC 6 (12) 1933-04-19 United States Public Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
Loss France Marcel Thil DQ 11 (15) 1932-06-11 France Parc des Princes, Paris Lost NBA World Middleweight Title.
NC United States Jackie Fields NC 7 (12) 1929-12-13 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Loss United States Jackie Fields PTS 10 1929-10-21 United States State Armory, San Francisco, California
Win United States Al Mello TKO 6 (10) 1929-06-03 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Win United States Al Mello PTS 10 1929-05-03 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York


  1. ^ a b c d "William "Gorilla" Jones". Cyber Boxing Zone. 1910-05-04. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  2. ^ "Gorilla Jones - Boxer". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  3. ^ Mark J. Price. "Akron's king of rings - News". Ohio. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  4. ^ Gorilla Jones' Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

External links[edit]

Inaugural Champion NBA World Middleweight Champion
January 25, 1932 – June 11, 1932
Succeeded by
Marcel Thil