MIKE JONES TRAINING CAMP NOTES
As unbeaten Mike Jones, of Philadelphia, PA, who is 23-0, 18 KOs and is ranked as high as the #2 welterweight in the world by the WBO behind champion Manny Pacquiao, prepares to defend his WBC Continental Americas, NABO and NABA titles in a rematch against Mexico’s Jesus Soto-Karass (24-5-3, 1 NC, 16 KOs) on February 19 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, he has had his best training camp ever. Here are some quotes from Jones and his team.
MIKE JONES COMMENTS
• On his first fight with Jesus Soto-Karass: “I lost my legs after that second round. I had punched myself out. He was so easy to hit. But I should have worked the body instead of going for the knockout.”
“There’s a question in some people’s minds whether I won or lost. By fighting him again and beating him, I won’t leave any doubt.”
•On fighting in Las Vegas: “This is my first fight (2nd overall) in Las Vegas since my 1st-round knockout (vs. Gilbert Guevara) in my 8th pro fight (May 4, 2007) the night before the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight. He only had one loss at the time. Vegas may be my lucky charm.”
• On what he’s focusing on in training: “I’ve been working on being more patient, taking my time and not getting over anxious. I feel good. I want to stick my jab and work off it, throwing combinations over it and sitting down on my body shots.
“I’m still learning every day and it’s all part of my growth. I want to keep growing. It’s (fighting) a marathon, not a sprint.”
• On training in Philly “I’m glad I stayed home for training this time (Jones had gone away for training for his fights over the last two years). I focus better. I don’t drink, smoke or go out so there’s no problem with distractions at home. It’s soothing to be home.”
“Shoveling snow at home has been an excellent work-out for my arms (Jones has shoveled a near-Philadelphia record of 37.8 inches of snow over the 12-13 days that it’s fallen to date this winter). “The snow work outs have made me stronger.”
• On his fight vs. Soto Karass on Feb 19: “I’m gonna be boxing for 12 rounds. He’s (Soto-Karass) a tough fighter. I’m not looking ahead to any other fights. I know what I can do and I’ll prove it on Feb. 19th.”
VAUGHN JACKSON, JONES’ TRAINER
“In his last fight, Mike emptied his tank (in the second round) and got tired. Soto-Karass was so easy to hit. Mike learned a lot that night. It was a lesson well learned. He will learn from the experience and be more disciplined.”
“If Soto-Karass couldn’t take advantage of having Mike out on his feet last time, there’s no way he’ll ever get close this time. Soto-Karass had Mike where any fighter would want but he let Mike come back. Soto-Karass had his chance but won’t get one this time.”
“Give Mike credit for his courage and will to win. He came back (after losing his legs in the 3rd round) and dug deep down and showed his will to win.”
“A lot of people jumped off of Mike’s bandwagon after the last fight. We’re going to show them the real Mike Jones this time. Mike’s going to win. This fight is about redemption.”
“I expect Soto-Karass to come out the same way – a lot of pressure.”
“For this fight, I’ve been working with Mike on boxing at angles and defense. Mike can certainly still punch. Last fight, Soto-Karass was so easy to hit and that tempted Mike to try to take him out. We’re gonna box Soto-Karass this time and stick to our plan and not give in to temptation.”
“We want to mix it up, come out smarter; we’re going to focus on the jab, but then take away his body.”
“Last time, we tried to cut off Soto-Karass’s head; this time we’re going to cut his body in half.”
GABRIEL ROSADO, JONES’ SPARRING PARTNER
GABRIEL ROSADO, Jones’ sparring partner for the last 5 years, is a junior middleweight with a record of 15-5, 8 KOs. He fights Jamaal Davis for the interim NABA junior middleweight title on Feb. 26, 2011 at Bally’s in Atlantic City.
“Mike’s made some minor adjustments (in training for this fight). He’s got me with some good body shots. He’s a little more patient, more relaxed, picking his better. You can’t knock his jab. He’s getting better.”