El Torro On The Rampage . . . Liam Jones Is The Young Welsh Boxer Making A Mark In Majorca

The posters dub him “El Torro” and there’s no doubt local boxing fans in Majorca are bullish over the prospects of young Welsh fighter Liam Jones.

He was known as “The Bull” when he was making his way in Treorchy in the Rhondda, but it was more than just an obvious promotional strategy for the 23-year-old to quickly re-brand when he opted to base himself on the Spanish island.

In the ring, Jones is direct, powerful, and on the rampage – evidenced by his 6-0 record so far as a professional.

“I am learning the sport at the moment, but I have ability and I have self-belief and I do believe that one day I’ll be a champion,” says Jones.

The super-lightweight has an interesting back story, one that came out of the deep fat frier of a fish-and-chip shop, but now definitely has more the flavours of tapas and paella.

His family own the renowed Ton Pentre fish-and-chip shop, “A Fish Called Rhondda”, who glory in their motto: “We love to cook fish and chips for the Valley that loves to eat them”.

Except Jones doesn’t get to eat them too often these days. Not only is he meticulous about his dietary intake ahead of his next fight – scheduled to be in Llanelli – but he has spent the past two years living in Majorca.

His family owned an apartment, and regular summer visits cultivated a love for the island. When he wanted somewhere where warm weather training would be almost a guarantee, then there was only one place to go.

“I’d been coming here all my life and I love the place,” he says. “There was an opportunity for me to base myself in Manchester after I turned professional, but my trainer, Paul Hamilton, was happy to train me here.”

And fight in Majorca, too. So, far Jones has fought three times on the island and three more times in the north of England. He remains unbeaten.

“There are no distractions here, which I would have at home. It’s a beautiful island but when I’m in camp I don’t see that much sunlight because I’m training in the gym three times a day.

“But if I want to get on a run, or on the bike, or down to the sea, then I know I’m blessed.”

His Majorcan base has not stopped his fans from supporting him. When he fought last year, over 50 of his supporters had jumped on a plane to fly in from Wales.

Sport runs through the family. His older brother is Marc Jones, former pro rugby player for Bristol, Sale and the Scarlets and now coach at Carmarthen Quins.

Jones is very aware he’s still in the foothills of his career and there is a long trek ahead, but sponsors are already taking note with Watches of Wales, a Cardiff-based business, and a Sportin Wales watch feature since the beginning, one of his major backers.

“Obviously, everyone’s goal is to one day fight to become world champion and then have one of those super fights in America – Las Vegas or New York. That’s my plan and my goal, to see my face lit up in gold out there and live the dream.

“You have to believe you can become world champion. Otherwise, what’s the point of all the sacrifice and hardship? This is now my life and my livelihood.”