Hearn kids the Americans

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The Independent Online

Barry Hearn pulled off a major piece of kidology which enabled Paul "Silky" Jones to pull off a dream result in Sheffield on Wednesday night.

Hearn, Jones's manager, told handlers of the beaten champion, Verno Phillips, that Jones was nothing special and Jones kept his part of the bargain by taking the World Organisation light-middleweight title.

"I told them Silky Jones was no good," Hearn said. "I told American promoter Bob Arum that it would be an easy pay day.

"Jones had lost eight fights and will be a good fight for Phillips while he had nothing else to do before his mandatory defence. We wouldn't have got Phillips here if we had told them the truth. We knew Jones would box his ears off."

After his victory on a split decision, Jones, 29, must take over Phillips's commitments to fight the popular American Bronco McKart in a mandatory defence. It looks as if the Sheffield fighter will have no time to cash in with an easier first bout as champion.

Jones pulled himself up from a first-round knock-down and had a point deducted for a head butt in the ninth, but still took the verdict by scores of 116-111, 114-113 and 113-113, after dominating the second half of the bout as the champion tired visibly.