PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                    November 26, 2009


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By Ted Sares




On March 10, 1992, welterweight Tim Rabon met Philadelphian William “The Hammer” Jones at the Blue Horizon  in a 4-rounder that was televised on Tuesday Night fights as part of a bigger showcase. Those who were fortunate enough to see this one will never forget it. Rabon was 13-7-2 at the time. Jones was 18-0 but his only notable win was a KO over Rafael Williams, and his overall level of opposition was very poor. In fact, only five opponents had winning records. As well, most of the Hammer’s fights took place in the friendly confines of the Blue Horizon.  

Rabon, out of Broussard, Louisiana, had duked with much better fighters, but had just fair success. He was knocked out by Santos Cardona and Tyrone Moore, fought a draw with then undefeated Chad Parker (19-0), split a pair of SD’s with Jason Watters, and lost on points to Kevin Pompey, Reggie Miller and the very capable Aussie road warrior Jeff “Flash” Malcolm (in a 12 rounder for the IBC Welterweight Title). Malcolm was 77-21-10 at the time. One other thing, Rabon was a National Golden Gloves Champion in 1984 (along with such notables as Ronnie Essett, Virgil Hill, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson). On paper, the undefeated Jones looked ripe for the picking.



The fight was a barnburner; a closet classic deluxe. Both fighters were  tall and skinny and they wasted no time as they immediately teed off on each other with long and looping shots that had extreme malice written all over them. The punishment absorbed by both fighters was alarming, and those at ringside were sprayed by the sweat as each thundering shot came down the pike with pinpoint accuracy. Then, in the incredible third round, things heated up even more as “The Hammer” lived up to his nickname by decking and punishing Rabon in the early going and appeared to be on his way to a crunching finish.

But miraculously, Rabon caught Jones with a solid hook coming in that had him hurt and hanging on. He then floored him and when he got up, stalked him down like a Tiger sensing a fresh kill and floored him again. But in so doing, he used up serious energy and Jones, who somehow weathered the onslaught, sensed it. Indeed, Rabon had punched himself out and was now helplessly gassed and ready to be hammered into submission, but time was running out. With just seconds to go in the round, Jones backed Rabon into a corner and took him out with a single debilitating shot to the liver. The bell had rung but Tim could not get up. He was counted out four seconds after the round was over.  

These nine minutes of unmitigated mayhem featured everything: give and take, ebb and flow, courage, determination and ferocity. And the third round had to be seen to be believed.



Rabon would lose most of his remaining fights against very creditable opposition and finished with a record of 14-12-2. Jones would never be the same losing two of his next four. Both defeats came at the hands of another ultra tough fighter by the name of Eric Holland who was a Blue Horizon regular. His final record was 21-2 and he retired in 1994 after being KOd by Holland in 1995.

The careers of both would be defined by what happened at the Blue Horizon on March 10, 1992. They call it the “Legendary Blue Horizon” and fights like this contributed greatly to that Moniker.

Postscript: Timmy Rabon passed away a while back from Lou Gehrig’s disease, but he retained his great humor and bubbling personality to the end. Timmy was as sweet a kid as you would ever want to know.

This was and is what Philadelphia boxing is all about.





Hammer Jones Main Page



Ted Sares wrote this article November 2009.