Weekly Stud: Mike Jones, welterweight
The feedback on Weekly Stud has been awesome. Fighters are being brought to my attention that I had never heard of. It is truly awesome. One point though when submitting a fighter, please make certain there is some video footage readily available of the fighter for evaluation purposes. Preferably, footage showing a range of his experience so that development can be pinpointed. Again, thanks and keep it coming. Also, female fighters are welcome too.
Article posted on 28.10.2009
By Coach Tim Walker – If you love boxing then you must have respect for Philly and its ability to produce high level fighters. This week's Weekly Stud is an incredible Philly fighter who is just moments away from breaking into to the big leagues and I don't think it will be long before he does. This week's stud, Mike Jones.
b>Mike Jones, middleweight (18-0-0 KOs 15) - Mike Jones was born and bred on the Philadelphia boxing scene. When you listen to him you sort of get the feeling that he always knew, even when a few doubted it and a few forces were working against him, that he would be on the world boxing stage.. Maybe he even had a premonition of how large his success could be when he accepted his current boxing moniker. Athletes who experience tremendous amounts of success become as associated with their nickname as they do with their sport becoming nearly impossible to separate the two. Nicknames such as Sugar Ray, Iron Mike, Tiger and of course the nickname he chose, MJ which people worldwide know to be short for Michael Jordan.
By quantitative standards he cumulated an amateur record of 60 wins 6 losses. Some who only look at quantity as opposed to quality would suggest that 66 amateur fights do not suggest that he has the potential to be an upper level fighter but in a city that breeds boxers as fast as it cooks cheese steaks those 66 fights are as tough as they come. Hell, even the gym wars in Philly are legendary.
On the surface, besides amassing excellent professional rankings, his greatest claim to boxing fame thus far, apart from the reputation he is earning, has been two potential meetings with Larry Mosley. The first Mosley fight was canceled due to a Mosley injury, the second because of an injury to Jones. No disrespect to Juliano Ramos who he faced for the vacant NABA 147 title but he is former 140 coming up and maybe not quite the boxer Larry Mosley was at that point. The fight with Mosley may never happen given the dimming of Mosley's star in the aftermath of two consecutive losses.
All memory of those canceled fights with Mosley was expected to be erased on November 7 when he was scheduled to face tough Colombian by way of Miami, Richard Gutierrez. Unfortunately, an injury forced Gutierrez out and he is now being replaced by Raul Pinzon. Pinzon will prove to be a decent challenge for Jones but not nearly as dangerous of a challenge as Gutierrez would have been. Gutierrez has 3 losses but examine them closely. His losses are to one fighter who is absolutely world class (Joshua Clottey) and two others who are absolutely on the way to becoming world class (Antwone Smith and Alfredo Angulo).
But Jones is more than a surface guy. He eats, sleeps and breathes boxing and his desire is to not only be world champion but the next great Philly fighter. From my perspective gaining that respect as a Philly fighter might be even more difficult than winning a world title. If he attains that status, and he is on his way, then no one in the right mind will every yell “Who?” when they think of Mike Jones again.
Jones the Fighter
Jones is a huge welterweight that stands 5'-11" tall. To some the height might not matter but when it is used correctly it is a serious attribute. Height can create leverage and power which leads to thrilled crowds and devastating knockouts. But his advantage isn't height alone, this dude can flat out box and his power, adjoined with his height, is hinged on his technique. If you know boxing then you know boxers are taught to maintain technique when all else fails.
Don't be mislead by looking at his height and weight alone and think he is a carbon copy of Paul Williams. Williams is a tough volume puncher. Jones is a ferocious volume puncher. Jones has every punch known to man in his arsenal. He punches with absolute clear intent, meaning, if he throws a right hand he positions his body for the follow-up shot or his next move which he considered before he every threw the right hand. If he connects with a punch, he keeps punching. If he misses he maneuvers away. This makes him exciting, fan friendly and explosive.
His left hook is amazingly quick but he seems to occasionally slap with it. This is not without reason though in my opinion. Jones is an outside to inside fighter and the occasional slapping left hook might be a byproduct of him punching around his opponent’s gloves. Still, though not intentional, he will have to compensate for his speed and distance on the left hook and be certain to turn it over.
His stance is a bit wide but he never squares up even when he gets his opponent against the ropes. Awesome to see. However, he will from time to time, not a lot, crowd himself by getting a little too close to his opponent. His speed overcomes this deficiency. Most of the time he keeps the proper distance from his opponent which feeds into his aggressive offensive style. At this stage, his defense isn't overtly obvious, mostly due to his competition not being able to take him out of his game plan for more than a few moments at a time. In opinion his offense severely outweighs his defense regardless.
Another weapon in his arsenal is potent right hand which he leverages to the inside. He shifts his weight from left to right near textbook fashion. Once inside he unleashes a dynamic body attack. Still, though offensive minded, he is not a pressing fighter. He is a boxer who circles, pivots, angles and maneuvers around his opponents. By nature he is a counter puncher and possesses a short very round un-thought-about uppercut. Opponents who drop their heads and rush in are rudely greeted.
Final Synopsis of Jones
Jones is an excellent boxer puncher who lives up to the Philly name. Fifteen knockouts in 18 bouts is not a fluke. Opponents will have to choose between the lesser of evils when facing him. He seems as potent standing in the middle of the ring as he is pressing his opponent and equally comfortable taking half steps back. His next opponent, Pinzon, will come to fight. He brings a different style than Gutierrez would have and will certainly prove to be a different type of fighter that he has faced in the pro ring but definitely not a fight style that he hasn't come across in Philly.
Jones' current world rankings: WBA #7, IBF #12, WBO #14 and WBC #21. He is also the current NABA Welterweight Champion which is sanctioned by the WBO.
Note: Jones is trained by Vaughan Jackson and managed by Doc Nowicki (kudos to you Doc) and Jimmy Williams.
Rumor Mill: Scheduled to take on Raul Pinzon in replacement of Miami's hard hitting Richard Gutierrez (24-3-1 KOs 14) at the Bally's Atlantic City, New Jersey on November 7. Champs...beware!
Championship Potential (scale of poor, decent, good, excellent, absolute): I am taking strong consideration of the thick and talented 147 pound division on this one and feel his possibilities of becoming a world champ are GOOD to EXCELLENT. I know his team hopes it doesn't happen but I think he will be forced out the division much like Paul Williams and relegated to campaign at 154 or 160 especially when understand that his team's goal is to look out for their fighter. Flat out, they aren't going to want to fight this kid without asking for a lot in return. Nevertheless, it's unwarranted to address his potential in divisions that he is not currently fighting in.
On a more personal note, hopefully there will be some HBO, Showtime and ESPN fights in his future. He is an exciting, solid, well spoken fighter who represents boxing well.
Coach Tim Walker is a contributing writer for Eastsideboxing.com and his own blog at boxing4life.blogspot.com. For questions, comments or to suggest fighters for Weekly Stud please contact him at email@example.com
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