The Welshman came close twice in 1983, holding Milton McCrory to a draw and losing the return on a split decision, but despite having won every possible honour as an amateur and professional, he was unable to claim the ultimate prize.
'It's something I've always regretted,' he admits. 'I served my apprenticeship, only to fall at the final fence; even now it still hurts.'
Jones has enjoyed a quite retirement in his home village of Penyrheol, on the outskirts of Swansea. Having invested his ring earnings wisely, and with a simple lifestyle, he is under little pressure to earn a living.
'Being successful never really changed me. I'm still living in the same house, with the same wife, same three kids, same friends,' he says.
He briefly flirted with a career as a trainer but found his charges unimpressed by the standards he set. 'Perhaps it was my fault,' he admits. 'I expected the kids to make the same sacrifices I made, but they weren't prepared to do it.'
He is regularly heard on local television and radio as an expert boxing panellist, and spends his spare time improving his snooker. Although he is only 34, he has never been tempted to return to the ring. 'I haven't done a stretch in the gym since I retired,' he says, 'and I don't see that changing now. I'm very happy the way I am.'
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