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Boxing: Jonesrapsback atquittingclaim; `Fighting on would have helped rival'.

Byline: NICK PEET Boxing Correspondent

NEW British light-middleweight champion Michael Jones has hit back at accusations he `quit' to win the title in Manchester at the weekend.

Former champion Jamie Moore was stripped of the title after hitting Jones after referee Dave Parr is called `break' in the third round on Friday night.

Jones was left in no fit state to continue, and the man from Salford disqualified for breaking the rules.

But Moore came out punching again yesterday, labelling Jones a ``quitter'', saying the Speke champion ``was play-acting'' and that he ``took the decision to quit''.

Jones, who had to wait 19 months for a rematch after Moore snatched the title from under him, countered today saying: ``Every time any fighter steps into that ring he puts his life on the line. I was hit illegally, and deep down he knows I'm no quitter. ``If I was a quitter I would have quit in our first fight when he came in at late notice and defeated me with his southpaw style.

``That night he broke my nose, very badly, in the opening few rounds but I never quit then. I swallowed it and battled on.

``Why should I have been all macho on Friday and fought on after being knocked down?

``I can say hand on heart that my vision out of my left eye was blurred. Why should I hand him the advantage in that situation and fight on when he was the one that broke the rules? He would have knocked me out. '' Jones believes Moore's intentions were clear from the opening bell, and is just glad the third man in the ring, referee Parris, eventually used all his years of experience to control the fight.

Jones added: ``From the first bell he was throwing low blows, and getting away withit. He hit me with two or three of them in the first three minutes, so my trainer, Ray Farrell, said to throw them back as he was getting away with it.

``Moore only had five rounds in him. This was the only way he could try and keep his title -- by cheating.

``But justice was done and now I'm the champion. ''

CAPTION(S):

VICTORY PARADE: Michael Jones takes his British title belt to show his sponsor Jimmy Christian at Air Quay Autos in Speke
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 30, 2004
Words:388
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