Soldier Jones


Soldier Jones, a tough journeyman lightheavyweight from Canada, floored Harry Greb in each of their several bouts, only to have Harry get up and give him a terrific pasting. "The Soldier hits hard," Greb once told Keck. "He looks like a bum against somebody you never heard of- and then turns around and looks like a champ for a few minutes against me."


The following article below is taken from the August 2, 1991 issue of Boxing News. The article was supplied by Soren Woller of Denmark.

....I gratefully recieved his orders to proceed to the "Ring" Gymnasium and interview the Canadian heavyweight champion, who had just come to London to meet the best of our big boys and earn a shot at the British Empire title. "He calls himself Soldier Jones. Find out why and all about him and write me a piece for next week."

...In the ring, but not sparring or shadow-boxing, was a tough-looking heavy in ring kit. Around his neck was a wide leather collar from which dangled a huge block of cement which he swung to and fro and jerked up and down as if it were a mere nothing. "It must weigh a ton" I was assured by a nearby onlooker and it was certainly very heavy.

After ten minutes of this unusual exercise, I watched him go through some strenuous floor work, a spell of heavy bag punching, then some prolonged skipping. He did not use a sparring partner and suddenly climbed out of the ring, donned a dressing gown and sat down on a nearby bench. It was my cue!

I introduced myself and asked for a few words, first enquiring while he styled himself 'Soldier Jones'. "I was in the Canadian Army during the war (1914-18) when I first took up boxing and when I decided to turn pro I couldn't use my christian name." "Why not?" I asked and he grinned back "Did you ever hear of a fighter named Horace?" I had not and fully understood why he had chose to style himself 'Soldier'.

In those days many of the serving members of the armed forces used their rank as a first name for boxing. There was the renowed Bombardier Billy Wells, Seaman James Hall, Shoeing-Smith, Fred Davies, Bugler Harry Lake, Marine Trinder, etc, so Jones' choice was not remarkable. Many years later I discovered that his true name was John Horace Beaudin, but perhaps he wanted to keep that secret.

I then enquired about the unusual neck excersice. "I believe it is essential for a fighter to have a strong neck," he told me. "It is as important as having a strong chin, in fact it helps to develop one. The weight of the block is my secret."

I discovered that he was born at Gaspe, Quebec in 1896 and had his first paid contest in Quebec City on August 25, 1915 when he knocked out Spike Sullivan in the first round. He did not get in many contests during the war years, but built up a good record, although his first attempt to win the Canadian heavyweight title ended in disaster when he was knocked out in the opening round by Arthur Pelky (the man responsible for the tragic death of Luther McCarty in a white hope competition some time previously).

His next title quest was more successful when on November 25, 1920, in Toronto, he knocked out Tex McEwan in five rounds to win the Canadian light-heavyweight crown. Three months later he added the heavyweight championship by disposing of talented Jack Renault in four rounds.

These wins gained the attention of Tex Rickard, who was about to satge a contest for the world heavyweight title at Jersey City with Jack Dempsey defending his crown against Georges Carpentier, of France. On the undercard he offered Jones a ten round bout with up-and-coming Gene Tunney and the Soldier jumped at the chance at showing himself on the big time.It was soon apparent that Jones was boxing out of his class, however. He could not match Tunney's skill and was systematically outboxed until midway through the seventh round when the referee called a halt to what had become a one-sided affair.

He had put up a game show, however, and on the strength of this he decided to try his fortunes in England. I closed my notebook and wrote my story, and a few nights later was in the press box at The Ring, squeezed into a corner by a crowd of Fleet Street sport writers anxious to take a look at the new arrival.

The Canadian champion's opponent in the top-liner over ten rounds was Albert Lloyd, the Australian light-heavyweight title holder, who had been campaigning in London for six months and was immensly popular. He was a neat boxer, but no great hitter and Jones set about him with great gusto. Only by neat footwork and continual defensive tactics was Lloyd able to stay on his feet under the long range swings hurled at him by the energetic Canadian.

Jones threw innumerable punches at the Australians bobbing head without landing on a vulnerable spot, meanwhile lloyd was picking up the points with an accurage left jab. So the Soldier switched to the body. A lashing right caught the Australian on the left hip. He doubled up in pain and to Jones' disbelief and mortification, he had lost his first contest in England on a disqualification.

Six weeks later he was again on view at The Ring, but for a very short stay as he knocked out Guardsman Charlie Penwell in the opening round with a big right hander to the chin. It was a win that inspired the NSC matchmker to feature the Canadian in a special big show at Holland Park Rink, pairing him with another Australian, the redoubtable George Cook, in a top-liner over 20 rounds.

Cook was both tough and strong. A sound boxer, he had gone four rounds with Georges Carpentier and many thought him unlucky to lose to the talented Frenchman. He proved to smart for Jones, who for round after round tried his hardest to put over a big punch. George made him miss with most of his intended kayo efferts, while those that did land failed to shake the strong Aussie who had won by a decisive points margin at the finish.

An invitation came for the Soldier to show his paces in Paris when suprisingly, his opponent was Tom Berry from London, a lightheavy who was to become British Champion at the poundage three years later. Jones clubbed him out in the second round.

It was a victory that earned him a contest with Arthur Townley at the Albert hall and he made the most of it. The Birkenhead heavy was a stylish boxer, but was swept out of the ring in the opening minute. He climbed back and managed to keep his chin out of the way of the canadian's heavy swings until the bell came to his rescue. In the second he was pounded persistently for the full three minutes, but managed to keep upright. His arms were down when he gamely came out for the third, but it was soon over. A mighty swipe to the jaw had Townly down and although he beat the count, the referee would not let him take any more and the one-sided contest was stopped.




RING RECORD: 43 wins - 30 losses - 2 ND's -2 draw - 1 NC- (78 total bouts)

 selected bouts

Aug 25	1915	Spike Sullivan	Quebec		KO 1  	(Soldier Jones' first paid boxing match)

Jul 3	1917	Bill Brennan	Canada		TKO'd by 2 (loss)

Feb 1	1918	Arthur Pelky	canada		KO'd 1  (Jones' first attempt at the Canadian heavyweight title)

Nov 29	1919	Harry   Greb 	Buffalo		KO'd 5

Feb 21	1920	Jack Renault	unknown		L 9
unknown	1920	Fay   Keiser	unknown		KO'd by 3 (loss)
Nov 25	1920	Tex   McEwan	Toronto		KO 5  	(won the Canadian light-heavyweight crown)
Oct 22	1920	Capt. Bob Roper	Mich.		KO'd 10

Jan 1	1921	Tom    Berry	Paris		KO 2
Feb ??	1921	Jack Renault	unknown		KO 4 	(won the Canadian heavyweight crown)
Apr 11	1921	Harry   Greb 	Canada		KO'd 4
July 2	1921	Gene  Tunney 	Jer.Ci.		KO'd 7
Nov 16	1921	Tommy Gibbons	Canada		KO'd by 1 (loss)
Dec 8	1921	Sailor  Smith	Canada		Win by KO

Jan 1	1922	Arthur Townley	England		KO 3
Jan 2	1922	Jack Gallagher	Canada		TKO 2 (win)
Mar 30	1922	Albert Lloyd	England		DQ Loss
Apr 1	1922	Charlie Penwell	England		KO 1
Jul 10	1922	George  Cook	England		L 20
Dec 18	1922	Henry (Harry) Mallin 	Staines Town Hall, England	result is unknown. (there was an advertisement for this bout , but it is unknown if it actually took place or not.)

Oct 10	1923	Jack Renault	Canada		L 10
Nov 5	1923	Harry   Greb	Pitts.		ND 10	(L news)

Apr 25	1924	Jack Reddick	Canada		KO'd 5
June 28	1924	Jack Reddick	Canada		KO'd 8