Divante Jones 2.0 launches Friday night.
The 21-year-old lightweight boxer from Hephzibah will reboot his professional career 16 months after his professional debut, making his second ring start at the Medallion Center in Columbia.
“It’s almost like his pro debut all over again,” said Albert Jones, Divante’s father. “We are excited. This is the next step before he signs a big promotional contract.”
Jones is scheduled to fight Andre Canada of Greenville, S.C., in a four-round, 135-pound bout as part of the event to support Fight for Life SC. The bouts begin at 7 p.m. and tickets range from $30 to $60.
“I’m mostly looking forward to showing people that I haven’t lost my touch,” Jones said.
The extended drought between his first and second fight is due to the failure of Jones’ first promotional contract.
Shortly after winning his debut on June 16, 2012, with a knockout one minute into the first round against Charlotte’s Dontterreus Rogers, his Palmetto Boxing promoters wanted to back out of their contract with the former amateur star from Cross Creek.
“I don’t understand what happened,” Albert Jones said. “But these things happen.”
The anticipated ramping up of fights never took place, and Jones has been left training at home in Hephzibah and sparring every couple of weeks to stay in shape.
“It’s probably going to be a little shock to my body,” Jones said of the long competitive layoff. “It’s been a long time. At the same time it was probably good having time training new material and pro style. I think it did some good in the long run.”
Said his father: “Divante has been doing this all his life so it’s second nature for him to train.”
Jones will have help this week from Pensacola, Fla., cut man and matchmaker Jim Waldrop, who is also serving as a scouting intermediary for Top Rank Boxing – one of the sport’s premiere promotional companies.
Jones hopes another strong performance can lead to a new deal that can help him toward his long-term goal of being the Augusta area’s next world champion.
“We may have something in store for later in the month,” Jones said. “I’m not worried about it.”