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BOXER HAD TO BATTLE BACK FROM THE DEAD! World champ was given 15% chance of surviving cancer.

Byline: SALLY ECCLESTONE News Reporter

ABOXER - given only a 15 per cent chance of survival after being stricken with a rare form of cancer - has stunned medics by becoming a world champ.

Lee Jones clinched the 2019 World Boxing Union title in Budapest last month in the final contest before retiring.

Now the 36-year-old cruiserweight, from Eccleshall, near Stafford, has spoken of his dramatic career in and out of the ring.

He started boxing aged 12 and has had to overcome a series of serious medical challenges over the years, including back injuries and bleeds on the brain.

Then in 2014, Lee was diagnosed with a type of Hodgkin lymphoma.

He said: "I was told I had between a 10 to 15 per cent chance of living for five years.

"So I accepted I was going to die and carried on living my life."

Lee, who was later given the allclear, was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and was out of boxing for two years.

"Then in 2016, I had a bleed in and on the brain at the same time," he recalled.

"It was a result of a boxing injury, but my body was weaker from the cancer.

"I was out for another two years. I wasn't particularly upset because I don't get like that. I was more annoyed I couldn't box.

"I'd been through it all before with my back and with the cancer. As soon as I could box again, I'd fall ill."

But Lee persevered despite his battles.

And through rigorous training regimes, he won one international title, three world titles, and two European titles.

Lee added: "I got into boxing by accident. I like competing and knew I enjoyed sports where you compete as an individual.

"I liked tennis, but I couldn't play, so I fell into boxing."

Glad to have won his swansong, he said: "I was really pleased to have won in the moment.

"The show was good and we were really looked after, and it was on the Sport1 TV channel.

"But I was a bit disappointed with the fight.

"My previous fight where I won the European title was a lot more satisfying. There was a lot of blood and it was quite gruesome.

"My eye needed to be stitched up and I had to get on a plane back home with it taped together."

Lee bows out with a record of eight wins and two losses.

Despite retiring from the professional boxing circuit, the courageous fighter will continue to train amateur members at his Ten Count Boxing club in Hanley, Stoke.

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| Lee Jones, left with his title belts after retiring

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jun 9, 2019
Words:442
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