Mike Jones in the running for Pacquiao and/or Berto bouts if he beats Lujan on December 3rd; Gamboa's promoter interested in Brandon Rios bout

Philadelphia, PA—Undefeated welterweight contender Mike Jones, of Philadelphia, PA, who faces two-time world title challenger Sebastian Lujan, of Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina, in one of the featured fights on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito card, will be in line for a pair of much-coveted title shots with a win on Dec. 3 at Madison Square Garden.

A Jones victory over Lujan in their scheduled 12-rounder will gain him the No. 1 position in the welterweight rankings of the International Boxing Federation (IBF), currently ruled by Andre Berto, which could lead to a fight for Berto’s title in 2012. He also might possibly be matched with No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world Manny Pacquiao, according to Top Rank’s Bob Arum.

“There are some guys who we could match Pacquiao with,” Arum said at a recent press conference. “Mike Jones (pictured) and Sebastian Lujan are going to be fighting at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 3 for the No. 1 mandatory position against Berto. And the winner of the fight will get to meet Berto down the road, or if that doesn’t come about for any reason, will be ready to meet Manny Pacquiao down the road. But this fight is a very, very important fight for Mike Jones.”

*** Follow Mike Jones on twitter: @boxermikejones

“This is an opportunity for me to show the world I am one of the elite fighters out there,” said Jones, who will be fighting for the first time at Madison Square Garden. “I can’t wait until it happens. I’m in the gym everyday, working hard and preparing myself to be the best out there that night.”

A pro since 2005, Jones, 28, has a 25-0 record with 19 knockouts. He is ranked No. 3 by the IBF, No. 1 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) behind champion Manny Pacquiao, No. 2 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), No. 3 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).

Jones currently holds three titles—North American Boxing Association (NABA), North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and WBC Continental Americas, but it’s the world title he craves.
Lujan, 31, scored a big win in his last fight July 1 in San Antonio, TX, when he rallied to knock out Filipino southpaw Mark Melligen in nine rounds after accepting the match on less than one week’s notice.

A pro since 2001, Lujan is 38-5-2, 24 K0s. In two world title fights, he was stopped—due to a badly torn left ear—in 10 rounds by Margarito for the WBO welterweight title in 2005 in Atlantic City, NJ, he lost a 12-round decision to lefty Sergii Dzinziruk for the WBO junior middleweight title in 2006 in Munich Germany.
Lujan has won his last 12 fights.


The Mike Jones-Sebastian Lujan 12-round IBF eliminator is part of the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II world championship telecast, which begins at 9 pm (EST)/6 pm (PT). It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 292 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HDTV for those who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry.

Tickets for the Madison Square Garden card are priced at $600, $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at and all Ticketmaster outlets. They also are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922).

Ahmet Oner comments on a possible showdown between Gamboa and Brandon Rios: "Let's get it on!"

Top Rank president Todd DuBouef has recently spread the word that he would love to match Cuban phenomenon Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 kos) with hard-hitting World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios (29-0-1, 21 kos) sooner or later.

"I have seen some tapes of Rios and all I can say is that Gamboa is ready for him anytime, anyplace", says promoter Ahmet Oner. "Rios is an aggressive guy but I see nothing in his game to really shock Gamboa. It should be a good fight though so I say: Let’s get it on!"

In September Gamboa beat former world champion Daniel Ponce de Leon in a one-sided affair at 127 lbs. There were rumours about the Cuban 2004 Olympic gold medalist taking an interim bout at 130 lbs. before moving up to 135 lbs. for a possible showdown with Rios who is scheduled to defend his WBA title against John Murray on December 3rd in New York.

"It is no problem for Gamboa whatsoever to fight at 135 right away", says Oner. "He is an exceptional talent and already one of the best fighters pound for pound. I know that there are still some people who think that he needs to prove himself. Well, he is ready to do so and to fight the best. If it’s Rios, then bring on Rios. We just don’t want him to get knocked out on his way to facing Gamboa like JuanMa Lopez. We want the big fights, so let’s not waste any time."

Gamboa himself is pretty relaxed when it comes to discussing his next opponents. "I don’t care who I fight, I will always enter the ring to win", states "El Ciclon". "I will not duck anybody. Nobody can stop me on my way to the top. I know what I’m capable of and I will not back down until I have shown the world that I am the best boxer in the world."

Dawson carving his own identity

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Nov. 2nd, 2011) – Carrying the Dawson name in the heart of New Haven, Conn., can be a burden unto itself, but super middleweight boxer Rick Dawson has finally found a happy medium between the pressure of living up to high expectations and the motivation to carve out his own identity.

The older brother of former light heavyweight world champion “Bad” Chad Dawson, Rick Dawson (4-0, 1 KO) will fight for the first time in six months Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 when he faces Queens native Borngod Washington (2-9) on the undercard of “November Reign,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports in association with Global Boxing. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

“I’m ready!” said the elder Dawson, who hasn’t fought since beating Odias Dumezil in May. “I definitely didn’t want that layoff, but my body feels refreshed.”

So, too, does his mind, which often races a thousand miles a minute when Dawson’s inside the ring. As the older brother of a world champion, there’s pressure for Dawson to carry on the tradition of excellence, and sometimes that pressure forces him into bad habits he’s tried desperately to avoid.

“Wherever I go, people expect a lot from me because [Chad Dawson] is my brother,” Dawson said. “That sometimes plays into my thinking in the ring. You’re out there trying to look a certain way. Sometimes you find yourself not even thinking about the fight. You’re thinking about the crowd.

“People want to compare me to my brother, but I just have to focus on me, Rick Dawson, as a boxer. I have to carve my own path because he’s not in the ring with me when I’m fighting and I’m not in the ring when he’s fighting.”

The six-month layoff between fights might’ve helped Dawson reach that delicate balance. Working with head trainer Brian Clark, Dawson has focused primarily on increasing his endurance.

“It’s a lot of sprinting,” Dawson said. “We work for four minutes, take a one-minute break, then go for another four minutes, and so on and so forth. We do that for an hour. It’s hard at first, but you eventually get used to it. It involves a lot of sprinting, and it helps your stamina. That’s what we’re working toward.

“It’s a lot of different things I haven’t done before, so my body feels different.”

From a mental standpoint, the key for Dawson is to “let his hands go” and be more active from start to finish. With a limited amateur background, he admits he’s still learning on the job.

“Sometimes, the mental aspect plays into it,” Dawson said. “Sometimes, I am thinking a lot in the ring and overthinking things instead of just reacting. That’s what I’ve been working on with Brian.

“We’re almost there. It’s a process. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’ll be there soon. Trust me.”

While he still hopes to form his own identity among boxing fans in New Haven, Dawson admits there are perks to being the brother of a championship fighter, especially since Chad Dawson’s success provides the motivation the elder Dawson needs to keep chasing his own championship dreams.

“Maybe I can get there one day, too,” Dawson said. “To see him come home with the success he’s had, that’s what I would like to emulate. He’s my little brother, but that’s where I want to be.

“I’ve got a pretty big following around here – a lot of fans,” Dawson continued. “I appreciate all of their support. It’s hard to make this a career without fan support. I’ve got a lot of people behind me, so now I’ve got to do my part.”

The main event will feature the highly-anticipated 12-round WBC International heavyweight title bout between undefeated champion Mariusz Wach (25-0, 13 KOs) of North Bergen, N.J., and former world champion Oliver McCall (56-11, 37 KOs).

“November Reign” will also feature a 10-round North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and North American Boxing Organization (NABO) middleweight title bout between current NABO champion Patrick Majewski (17-0, 11 KOs) of Atlantic City, N.J., and challenger Jose Miguel Torres (22-5, 19 KOs) of Miami, Fla. Majewski won the NABO title with a unanimous-decision victory over Marcus Upshaw in June. Originally from Magangue, Colombia, the 32-year-old Torres has won two of his last three fights.

Four months after beating Derrick Findley at Mohegan Sun to capture the WBC U.S. National Boxing Council (USNBC) middleweight title, Elvin Ayala (24-5-1, 11 KOs) of New Haven will face veteran Juan Astorga (15-7-1, 10 KOs) of Thornton, Colo., in a 10-round non-title bout. Each of Astorga’s last four wins have come by knockout while Ayala has won four consecutive bouts dating back to February.

The undercard also includes a battle of unbeatens between New Haven’s Edwin Soto (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Diego Pereira (6-0, 2 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., in a six-round bout. Junior featherweight Josh Crespo (0-0-1) will battle newcomer Nate Green of New Haven in a four-round bout.

Cruiserweight Jose Torres (0-1) of Springfield, Mass., will face Francwa Russell of Chicago in a four-round bout in Russell’s pro debut; junior welterweight Christian Lao (2-1, 1 KO) of New Haven will face Antonio Chaves Fernandez (0-5) of Brockton, Mass., in a four-round bout; Artur Szpilka (7-0, 5 KOs) of Wieliczka, Poland, will battle heavyweight David Saulsberry (7-3, 7 KOs) of Greenville, Ky., in a six-round bout; and Hartford welterweight Javier Flores (5-0, 5 KOs) will face Bryan Abraham (5-9-2, 5 KOs) of Schenectady, N.Y., in a six-round bout. Super featherweight Kamil Laszczyk (4-0, 3 KOs) of North Bergen will face Chris Montoya Jr. (2-4, 1 KO) of Salt Lake City in a four-round bout.

All $105 ringside tickets for “November Reign” are sold out, but tickets are still available at $65 and $40 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254 or Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.3000. Fans can also purchase tickets online at,, or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office.

For more information on “November Reign,” visit or Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Article posted on 02.11.2011

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