After Narrow Escape From Home Fire, American Jones Eyes Gold

By Reuters
July 31, 2021 Updated: July 31, 2021

TOKYOAfter losing most of her home and thousands of dollars worth of boxing equipment in a fire in May, U.S. welterweight Oshae Jones said her eyes were on the gold prize now she was assured of a medal at the Tokyo Games.

“I had a vision of me standing on the podium and I practise my gold medal speech every day, so I plan on it,” Jones said after beating Dominican Maria Moronta in the quarterfinals on Friday, securing at least a bronze.

Jones narrowly escaped a fire that destroyed more than half of the home that she and her boyfriend had bought in Toledo, Ohioa “fixer-upper” that they were almost done renovating.

“I feel like with the Olympic Games postponed a whole year and me losing 60, 80 percent of my things, I feel like it was just adding fuel to the fire, literally, to me keep pushing,” the 23-year-old said. “I keep pushing every day.”

Jones affectionately credited her “nosy neighbors” for alerting her and her partner to the late-night blaze.

“If I was in any other neighborhood where people mind their business, I would be dead,” she said.

Still, having to replace the roof, redo the wiring and so much more, the state of her house was always on the back of her mind, Jones added.

“But all I can do is give it my best here and maybe that can contribute to my home.”

Jones will fight China’s Gu Hong in the semifinals at the Kokugikan Arena on Wednesday.

By Chang-Ran Kim