Philadelphia, PA—Trainer Vaughn Jackson has seen, from the very first day of training over six years ago, the potential in Mike Jones. Now Jones is just one step away from realizing that potential. If the Philadelphia welterweight can defeat two-time world title challenger Sebastian Lujan in a scheduled 12-round IBF eliminator on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito card on Dec. 3 at Madison Square Garden, Jones is guaranteed a shot at the vacant IBF belt.
“We finally have a plan of attack for Mike,” said Jackson, also of Philadelphia. “This fight with Lujan will get us one step closer to a title. After we beat him, we’ll be happy to face Randall Bailey, who already has said that he’s eager to fight us for the title early next year. After that, we’ll be ready for anyone--Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz-- you name them and we have a plan to beat them all.”
Before they get too far ahead of themselves, Jones and Jackson face a tough challenger in Lujan, who has won 12 in a row since 2007 and has his own title aspirations.
“Lujan is like one of those speed bumps in the projects,” Jackson said. “He’s in the way of our dreams and impeding our success. He’s not going to slow us down to our next destination--world champion.
“Mike has been fighting guys like Lujan his whole career. I’ve seen tapes of Lujan and he’s busy, but so was (Jesus) Soto-Karass (a two-time Jones victim). Actually, I think Soto-Karass is a better fighter. Lujan throws punches just to be throwing them. His punches are wide and wild. I don’t care what good shape you’re in or how much stamina you have, if you’re throwing a lot of punches and getting hit with a lot of good body shots, you’ll slow down and Mike Jones will slow him down. By the end of the fight, the announcer will be saying, ‘Down goes Lujan, down goes Lujan.’
“People say this is a step up for Mike but I say it’s a stepping stone.”
Jackson has been pushing Jones--known as a tireless workout fanatic-- hard in training camp, finding new ways to make each camp a little different and more taxing, yet more enjoyable for his fighter.
“Mike is definitely ready. He really likes all of the new strenuous exercises we’ve thrown at him. He’s in great shape. Bringing in an additional strength and conditioning coach (Rich Meudt) has helped make his legs stronger, his balance more stable and his punching power off the charts. He’s been hurting everyone in camp including me when I’m holding the pads.
“We are ready.”