Oshae Jones, The Olympian Looking For Gold in Tokyo
Talent emerges from all over the country, but Toledo, Ohio is becoming a hotbed of sorts thanks to Soul City Boxing Gym, as they have produced 2016 Olympian Charles Conwell, and now Oshae Jones is one tournament away from being a fully qualified Olympian as well.
The gym started by Otha Jones Jr. along with his son, Roshawn Jones, has an emphasis on keeping young people off the streets and providing a safe environment to learn the sport of boxing, but unlike some programs, they’re not content with you just showing up, you have to train hard and do the work as well.
“Drugs, prostitute, gang violence these are things that face the people in our community of Toledo, Ohio,” said Jones’ brother and co-trainer Roshawn Jones. “The goal of this gym was to serve the community, but also bring up high-level fighters that would inspire members of the community to be involved with our gym with Oshae Jones and Otha Jones III being prime examples of that.”
Jones whose younger brother, Otha Jones III boxed and now is a professional boxer with Matchroom Boxing USA, started boxing simply to be competitive with him.
“I always wanted to be in competition with my little brother, Otha Jones III,” said Jones explaining what drew her to the sport. “It started with wrestling and then we just maneuvered our way to boxing.”
When Jones started though success continued.
“The first day, I got in there with a girl and basically just beat her up with a jab and my movement,” said Jones. “After that, I knew, I didn’t pick boxing, boxing choose me. [SIC]”
The system has worked and with her father “Big O” Otha Jones Jr. running the show and constantly at the top of the national amateur tournament winning percentage charts, the formula for success appears to be working.
Jones has only three losses in national tournaments and international competition as Jones has dominated since the 2018 Salt Lake City National Tournament at The Salt Palace. All of the losses came in international competition, something Jones was aware of, heading into the Pan-Am Games in 2019.
“I expected to get gold,” said Jones with a laugh. “I didn’t get gold my last tournament, and I felt like I needed to show everyone that. I am always talking this, and I had to back it all up.”
Yet heavy lies how the crown be as Jones states the insinuation of her using performance-enhancing drugs is tiresome, and though no one has directly said anything to her, actions taken towards her have been exhausting.
“I get tested the most by USDA (United States Anti-Doping Agency), and I believe it is because I am naturally this talented, and they can’t believe I am naturally this skillful,” said Jones.
Jones furthered that the success she is having is leading others to assume it is anything other than hard work, which she finds insulting based upon the long hours she puts in the gym with her family members in order to perform.
In the midst of all of this, somehow we forgot to even mention the global undercurrent that is the COVID-19 pandemic, that has halted the 2020 Tokyo Olympics pushing it back by one year.
“It kind of unmotivated a lot of people,” said Jones about the pesky virus that has taken lives and caused financial ruin to thousands across the world. “I can speak for the majority of the Olympic qualifying team, we lost our motivation, we were depressed, we were sad because this is our life, this is what we worked for, for our whole life.”
Jones who dominated the Olympic Trials winning each bout 5-0 and seemed a sure-fire bet to make it to the U.S. team, her new opponent is time as well as waiting, as Jones now has to be patient while the world is put on pause by this nasty illness sweeping the globe.