Jones vs. Munoz on Saturday; Molina-Herrera on Friday night; Saunders-Boulden on 7/9

• Upcoming fight: June 25 vs. Raul Munoz (21-13-1, 16 KOs) at South Philly Arena (7 W. Ritner St): Jones: “This fight means a lot to me, obviously, because I’m back home for the first time in more than two years. I want to look my best when I’m at home, just like I do when I’m anywhere else.

“It’s kind of a different feeling when you’re at home, because you really want to perform. Like Manny Pacquiao says, I want to do it for the fans. That’s what I want to do. I want to look my best for the fans. I want to look great in there.”

• June 25th fight will be his first fight in Philadelphia since his March 6, 2009 second-round knockout over Dairo Esalas at the Blue Horizon. It also will be his 13th fight overall in his hometown and his 12th at this venue (South Philly Arena, formerly New Alhambra)

• 28 years old (April 26, 1983)

• Nickname: Machine Gun

• Born in Philadelphia (Mt. Airy section; now lives in Frankford section of Philadelphia)

•Turned pro in December, 2005, at the same arena he’s fighting in on June 25 (then called the New Alhambra); 5-1/2 years as a pro

•24-0, 18 KOs (75% KO %)

• Height: 6’0”…Reach: 72”

•Ranked #1 welterweight by WBO behind superstar Manny Pacquiao; also rated #2 by WBA, #3 by the IBF, #5 by the WBC

• WBC Continental Americas, NABO & NABA welterweight champion

• Has fought as a welterweight (147 lbs.) his entire career

• Rounds boxed: 108 (4.5 rounds per fight)

• First-round KOs: 5

• Trainer: Vaughn Jackson, of Philadelphia (Jones’ only trainer since turning pro; Jones was trained by Joe & Marvis Frazier as an amateur). Jackson on Jones: “Mike’s getting better every day. You never catch him out of shape and he’s never had any bad habits. Mike will be a great champion.”

• Managed by: Doc Nowicki & Jim Williams (also his cutman); Nowicki on Mike Jones: “Mike will be a world champion within the next 6-9 months because he lives and breathes boxing. When he wakes up in the morning his first thought is ‘what do I have to do today to make myself better.’ And that is how he thinks every morning. He lives to box and to be a world champion.”

• Promoters: Peltz Boxing Promotions, Top Rank and Joe Hand Promotions; J Russell Peltz on Jones: “Mike Jones needs to stay busy. He cannot fall into the habit of waiting for HBO or Showtime or pay-per-view fights. That’s the problem with many of today’s fighters; they won’t fight unless they can make a score. The old-timers fought to pay their bills and to learn their craft. Experience is the key here and Mike needs it and the best part is that Mike understands this.”

• Top Rank’s Bob Arum on Jones: “We have known Russell Peltz for years and he is a true boxing promoter. Look at the job he has done with the career of Mike Jones, who is now co-promoted by Top Rank and ready to break out as a big star in the welterweight division. Mike is an exciting fighter with size and a lot of power.”

• Joe Hand, Sr. on Jones: “In my forty years in the business, I have seen many champions come along. Mike Jones has all the makings of a great champion. So sit back and enjoy the ride.”

• Last two fights: Decision wins vs Jesus Soto-Karass on Nov. 13, 2010, in Arlington, TX (co-feature to Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito pay-per-view title fight); Feb. 19, 2011 in Las Vegas (co-feature to Fernando Montiel-Nonito Donaire title fight on HBO). Jones: “Both fights with Soto-Karass were big learning experiences which will get me ready for bigger fights down the road.”

•His feelings about fighting for a world title (probably within the next 2-3 fights): “I think that two, really tough-name fights down the road after this one, and then, I’ll be ready for a title shot and I’ll be ready to take the title. Until then, I’m looking to take on anybody that is in the top 10. That’s who I want.”

• Mentor: Bernard Hopkins (who trains at the Joe Hand Gym, where Jones also trains at); Hopkins told Jones after the first Soto-Karass fight, Nov. 13, 2010: “You’ve got to use your jab and you’ve got to keep your distance and don’t give these guys no chance of winning the fight when they don’t have none. You want to have longevity in this game, so use your jab, stick it to them from behind that jab, and send that right hand straight down the pipe. Don’t give these guys any chance of winning!”

• His dad, Michael Jones, Sr. has had diabetes for a while and suffered several strokes both conditions of which have influenced the younger Jones’ excellent nutritional regimen.

• Father of two girls: ages 7 & 5

• Likens his style to a combination of Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and a young Roy Jones

• Other favorite sports: football and basketball

• Favorite show: ESPN’s Sports Center

• Known as a gym rat for his long and strenuous training sessions

• Stays in excellent shape all year long like his mentor Bernard Hopkins

# # #

Mike Jones vs. Raul Munoz, co-promoted by Top Rank, Inc., Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., and Joe Hand Promotions, takes place Saturday, June 25, at the South Philly Arena, 7 West Ritner Street (next to Forman Mills). The scheduled 10-round contest will be televised live by Fox Sports Net at 10 pm EST as part of the Top Rank Live! Series. First of 7 fights: 8 pm.

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights to Air on ESPN 3D for Second Time

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will originate from Temecula, Calif. June 24 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN3D, ESPN Deportes and Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside at the Pechanga Resort Casino describing the action, while studio host Jonathan Coachman will present all the latest boxing news and highlights. The card is presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions.

Friday’s telecast will mark boxing’s second telecast in 3D. ESPN 3D presented boxing for the first time in the U.S. Feb. 18 with ESPN’s Friday Night Fights telecast from Salisbury, Md. The show made it the first live ESPN telecast to be produced only in 3D, airing in 3D and 2D simultaneously. Friday’s show will be the first of five additional telecasts added to the network. The remaining schedule: July1, July 8, July 22, August 5.

“3D is most impactful when you have close proximity to the subject. Nothing offers closer proximity than boxing. It truly makes you feel like you have a ringside seat,” said Phil Orlins, Coordinating Producer for ESPN 3D. “TV is all about access and bringing the viewer close to the game. 3D is arguably the biggest step closer to the ultimate real life experience that TV has ever been able to take. Nothing makes you feel closer to the action than watching boxing in 3D.”

Matt Sandulli Senior Coordinating Producer for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights said, “We had known all along that boxing would be a home run in 3D and the Feb. 18 show proved that. I would say there may be no sport that could benefit more from 3D coverage then boxing because the wow moment can happen every second there is action in the ring.”

This Friday’s fights features “The Gladiator” John Molina Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) and Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (17-1, 7 KOs) in co-main events.Covina Calif.’s Molina, will meet Denver’s “Red Hot” Rob Frankel (28-10-1, 5 KOs). Molina has won his last four fights all by knockout, including a third-round TKO over Alejandro Rodriguez in his last fight.

Riverside Calif.’s Herrera, will take on “The Silent Assassin” Mike Dallas Jr. (17-1-1, 7 KOs). Herrera has won his last four fights, including an eight-round decision win over Cristian Favela in his last fight. He scored one of his career-best wins in his previous fight on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights in January against Ruslan Provodnikov.

After that fight,’s Dan Rafael wrote, “In the first main event of the first card of the new season of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, we already have our first upset of the year, as Herrera took the competitive decision against Provodnikov, who was widely considered a top prospect. This is, by far, the biggest win of Herrera’s career and he earned it in a tough, grinding battle in which both men went past the 10th round for the first time and showed a lot of heart. This was a really good fight and a nice way to kick off the FNF season.”

Saunders vs. Boulden on July 9th

Olympian Billy Joe Saunders will challenge for his first title next month at the Excel London as chief support on the Kevin Mitchell-John Murray undercard.

The hard-hitting southpaw takes on the Southern Area Middleweight Champion Gary Bouldon from Shepperton.

Saunders, who at 18 was the youngest representative in the GB boxing team at the Beijing Olympics, turned professional shortly after alongside gold medalist James DeGale and Frankie Gavin under Frank Warren.

He suffered a hand injury in May last year that saw him out of action until December when he roared back into action with a second round stoppage of Tony Randell.

Since then Saunders has had two further wins, both in the second round, against Turgay Uzun and Kevin Hammond to take his record to 9-0.

The Hatfield traveler is raring to go against Bouldon and can't see him making the final bell.

"This is the start of bigger and better things for me. Bouldon is a stepping stone towards the British, Commonwealth and European titles that I want to win before going for the big one." Said Saunders.

"Bouldon looks tough, but I can't see him causing me any problems. I'll be looking to steam straight through him and get him out of the way early."

"I've been sparring with everyone from middleweight to heavyweight and dropping them so I can't see him lasting the distance."

"I'm making up for lost time due to the hand injury, but as you can see I'm punching harder than ever now and I'm going through opponents."

Tickets for North 'n South are available now, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 and £200, from 0844 844 0444 or

Article posted on 20.06.2011

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