By Chris Robinson
When I spoke with Mike Jones earlier this month, the welterweight contender spoke on a variety of subjects from his career steps, his thoughts on such fighters as Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez, as well as an eventual shot at WBO champion Manny Pacquiao. Jones, ranked #1 in the WBO and promoted by Top Rank Promotions, fully realizes that his time to face the Filipino may been just around the corner and even suggested he would be ready this coming November if Mexico City’s Juan Manuel Marquez failed to go through with his scheduled fight with Pacquiao.
Marquez took the fight with Pacquiao, the third in their so-far wild series, with revenge on his mind after his March 2008 split-decision loss to the General Santos City fighter but decided to take a tune up two weekends ago to ensure that he would have no rust heading into the fight. Marquez would end up securing his date with Pacquiao by blitzing 25-year old Columbian Likar Ramos in the first round down in Cancun, Mexico and will have his shot at redemption on November 12th inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
A loss to Ramos would have saw the Pacquiao fight go up in smoke and it goes without saying that Jones had a vested interested in the result of the fight. Asked if he was disappointed to not get a crack at Pacquiao this winter, Jones didn’t seem too bothered.
“Well, that would have been nice but whatever happens I can deal with,” said the 28-year old.
Jones will be seeing time on either the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard or the December 3rd rematch between Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in New York, so there are no real reasons for him to get down. Asked for his take on Pacquiao-Marquez III, the lanky Philadelphian sees another barnburner.
“I’m not sure,” said Jones. “It should be an entertaining fight. The first two before that were entertaining. But it should be a real good, entertaining fight because Marquez is fast and he always gives Pacquiao some problems.”
It was said that Top Rank was initially kicking around the idea of Jones facing off with former champion Kermit Cintron sometime in the near future but earlier this month the Puerto Rican was upset over ten rounds by hard-charging Carlos Molina in Carson, California. It was Cintron’s first fight under the Top Rank banner but he seemed listless at times as Molina overwhelmed him with activity.
Taking in the fight, Jones admits that he was surprised and now seems to be turning his attention to Molina instead.
“Yeah, a little bit. I hadn’t seen too much of that guy Molina, but I didn’t think [Cintron] looked good at all. He looked kind of washed up. It surprised me a lot the way Molina just walked through him like that. I definitely would love to fight Molina next,” Jones stated of the Chicago fighter.
And how exactly would Jones fight a guy like Molina?
“I think you have to outwork a guy like that,” he continued. “You have to capitalize on every mistake that he makes, even if he doesn’t make many. You have to punch when he is in the middle of throwing his punches. Counterpunch him good and outwork that type of guy.”
Molina’s recent run of solid performances actually started out in Las Vegas this past March when he gave a spirited effort against Erislandy Lara, pulling out a ten-round majority draw with the Cuban standout inside of the Cosmopolitan Resort. Lara himself appeared to be on the wrong end of an atrocious verdict on July 9th as he bludgeoned Paul Williams in Atlantic City, only to have the fight taken away from him by the judges.
Jones personally feels that robberies such as those will only cripple the sport further in the long run.
“I thought Paul Williams lost that fight big. That type of decision will turn boxing fans off of boxing. I wish it would have went the other way. It was kind of hard looking at that decision.”