NINETY minutes as part of a 10-man team followed by going the distance in the ring – little wonder Worcester City centre-half-turned-boxer Craig Jones fancied a nap.

Jones was the cornerstone of a resolute rearguard action in City’s 2-0 victory over Highgate United in the FA Vase last weekend but his day was not done, swiftly travelling from Bromsgrove to Bilston for fight night.

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Unruffled by a late change of opponent the 29-year-old bagged a unanimous points decision to beat Jack Wiles, laying the foundations for a Fight League UK Boxing Series Super Middleweight Championship defence against old schoolmate Jon Doody on Friday, September 27.

Jones said: “To be honest I could have fallen asleep before the fight, never mind after it!

“I said to Birchy (Aaron Birch) in the changing room beforehand that I hoped it wouldn’t go to extra-time with it being a Vase match.

“It didn’t but we had to play with 10 men for more than half the game. It involved a lot more running and shuffling in and out, the calves were a bit sore but it was okay in the end and I still trained Monday.

“I have done it (played and fought on the same day) a few times, maybe half a dozen or more. I would do it again but it also depends on the logistics.

“I keep myself quite fit anyway so it just depends where I am for football. I would rather not do both in the same day and football comes first but if it pops up on a Saturday and it is doable then I would go for it.”

It was a quest to boost his fitness that led Jones to the ring in the first place with fate taking hold.

“Originally I thought it would help my football and it did. I became fitter and sharper,” added Jones.

“It snowballed from there when my trainer said ‘You’re not bad at this, do you fancy taking on a fight?’

“I do it because I enjoy it. Call me a narcissist or whatever, I just like having a fight and getting paid to do it isn’t bad either.

“I like the discipline of it as well, it chills me out a little bit and saves me losing my head.”

Football commitments return to the agenda tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm) with City travelling to early high-fliers Sporting Khalsa in the Midland Football League Premier Division, another opponent Jones knows well.

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“Khalsa are always up there and Rowey (Khalsa boss Ian Rowe) is a good manager, they will be pushing at the right end as well as doing well in the Vase,” said Jones.

“It will be a really tough game. They have had a decent start, I know they lost to Lye last week but there are some good footballers there.

“Still, with the way we’re playing at the minute we can give anyone in this league a game and hopefully we can pick up the three points.”

Jones anticipates another “tough fight” with Doody and boxing fans can get along to The Supreme Suite, Roebuck Lane, West Bromwich by contacting Jones on 07801 930834.

Standard tickets are £30 with VIP ringside seats, including a three-course meal and champagne reception, also available.