Mike Jones Discusses His Career, Future Goals, More

By Chris Robinson

Every fighter is blessed with their share of physical gifts but it is the intangibles that ultimately determine their true worth. Having mental toughness, getting through difficult situations, learning to pace one’s self and fighting off of instinct all come into play at one point in time and it’s when these treats are combined with the God-given talents that we see a fighter at their best.

Philadelphia’s Mike Jones is a perfect example, as the welterweight contender went through a two-fight stretch against rugged Mexican Jesus Soto Karass that showcased his temperament and abilities as a fighter.
In November of last year in Cowboys Stadium, Jones got off to a blazing start against Karass on the undercard to Manny Pacquiao’s clinic against Antonio Margarito, ripping him with ferocious shots along the ropes in the second round and looking to be on the verge of a stoppage victory. But Karass would weather the storm and turn the tide of the fight as Jones faded and was fortunate to pull out a majority decision victory.

<--- Slideshow: Who is Mike Jones? Click the link for more images of the Philly fighter
Three months later the two men would meet again on the undercard of Nonito Donaire’s crushing TKO over Fernando Montiel inside of the Mandalay Bay and it was Jones’ turn to shine. Textbook boxing, stealth punching with both fists and overall command of the ring typified the 28-year old’s performance as he left no doubt with a convincing unanimous decision verdict.
Those two performances, coupled with Jones’ 2nd round destruction over Raul Munoz last weekend at the South Philly Arena in his native Pennsylvania, have thrust Jones’ name into the forefront of the boxing world as he has been rumored as an eventual opponent for WBO welterweight champion and pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. The Filipino legend is a man Jones has the utmost respect for but you can sense his enthusiasm when breaking the fight down in his head.
I recently caught up with Jones for a two-part interview as we discussed several facets of his life as a fighter while also taking a look at some pugilists and matchups near his weight class. In the first part of the interview Jones reveals what he learned from his duels with Karass, talks of the tradition of being a Philadelphia fighter, and weighs in candidly about the Pacquiao challenge.
In his own words, this is what Jones had to say…

Taking his time with Raul Munoz…
“I knew that Munoz was going to come and do exactly what he did. He was going to try to get to me early. I just took my time, felt him out and took care of things in the second round.”
Much fanfare on the East Coast…
“It means a lot. Being a professional boxer, putting in so much hard work, you just want to get the respect for how hard you work. You just want to be looked at as a good fighter and it feels really good to be appreciated. But the fans out there, I think they like me because I give it my all when I fight. They like to see knockouts and in any given fight they could see a knockout because I have punching power.”
Finding a way to defeat Karass inside of Cowboys Stadium…
“It was a big learning experience, probably the biggest one to date in my professional. Because I was used to guys going out of there when I threw a flurry but he stood in there strong like the tough fighter that he is. And he came back punching at the end of it. I lost my legs in the midst of it all but I had to find a way to finish the fight.”
Putting the numbers on Karass in their rematch…
“I say I pretty much overlooked him. I didn’t overlook him in the way of not training for the fight; I trained my hardest for any fight. But I kind of overlooked him mentally, thinking he wouldn’t be able to handle my power. And he did, but the second fight I was more mentally prepared and I knew what I was getting into. I just tried to put the numbers on him. Just beating him to the punch and out boxing him.”
In the beginning…
“I wasn’t really interested in boxing in the beginning. Growing up I was a big basketball fan, played a lot of basketball and played football. But I wasn’t a really big boxing fan in the beginning, I just had a lot of teenage aggression in me and I wanted to get it out somehow and I went to a boxing gym. It turned into a career pretty much. I grew to love it. I would say I just now recently started watching tapes on guys. Seeing the art of it all, hitting and not getting hit. Seeing the art in it.”
The fight scene in Philadelphia…

“It’s tough. There are a lot of great Philadelphia fighters out there. Actually, Philadelphia fighters don’t get the credit that they deserve. We get under the bright lights and we let our heart get the best of us. We’ve got the skills, we’re very smart fighters, but we let our heart get the best of us. We get down and dirty in there and a guy is punching back on you. We just let the skills go out the window; I showed it in my first fight with Soto Karass. I had the skills to outbox him for ten rounds but I let my heart get the best of me and I thought I could get him out of there. I just had to stay smart and overcome that stereotype.”
Ready for the call to face Pacquiao…
“I need more experience but I’m the #1 ranked contender in the WBO, so I got to be ready. I’ve got to be ready for that call, because that call is going to be anytime. That’s what I have to prepare myself for. Once I do get that call, I will be ready. I still feel that I need a little bit more experience, about two fights against some really good competition, and then I should be right there. Whenever I get the call I will be ready.”
What he brings to the table…
“I think I’m more versatile than the rest of the fighters out there. I think I can do more things. I don’t even think people have seen half of the things I can do in the ring. I’ve shown a little bit at a time. I’ve shown that I can box but I don’t think I’ve really shown how fast I can be in the ring. I don’t think people have seen how strong I can be in the ring; how I can knock a guy down and really bang him out. I think I just bring that level of versatility that none of the boxers today have. I bring a little bit of everything.” 
Stay tuned for the second part of my interview with Jones as he discusses Floyd Mayweather's challenge of Victor Ortiz's WBC welterweight title, reveals why he thinks Andre Berto can come back, states his eagerness to face Saul Alvarez, talks Cotto-Margarito II, and much more...

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here, and he can be reached at [email protected]
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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Tha_Greatest on 07-04-2011

mike jones sukks dikk, lol, the name mike jones alone is a laugh riot alone , lol, let alone his breakout robbery gift decision against a bum, lol, mike jones will be the next big piece of shiit that morons…

Comment by Marcov on 07-04-2011

[QUOTE=SekondzOut;10788311] MJ vs Canelo?!?...hmmmmm...I like that one ALOT!!!!!!! :banana:[/QUOTE] That would be interesting!

Comment by Mr. Philadel on 07-04-2011

good stuff...can't wait for the sequel!!!!....when B.Hop walks away...Mike will take the throne as my fav yea, I'm riding for MJ the SAME way I ride for B.Hop...HAM!!!!! :lol1: MJ vs Canelo?!?...hmmmmm...I like that one ALOT!!!!!!! :banana:

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