With only a couple of weeks before his first world-title opportunity, undefeated welterweight Mike Jones, of Philadelphia, has the look and mindset of a champion as he prepares to meet the hard-hitting former champion Randall Bailey, of Miami, FL, in one of the co-feature fights on the June 9 Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. “It is a lifelong dream to fight for the title,” said Jones, the IBF #1 rated welterweight. “All I know is I’m 100% confident in myself and my abilities. I come to win and I will not lose.”
Jones’ confident demeanor extends to his attitude about expectations as well. “I never get too high or too low,” stated Jones, 29, whose record is 26-0, 19 K0s. “I never need acceptance from anybody, whether I score a knockout or get a decision win. I stay true to myself. I believe in God and I believe in myself. That’s what matters to me.”
But will Jones’ confidence and attitude be enough to stop Bailey, who is well-known for his punching power? Bailey has scored 36 knockouts en route to a 42-7 record as a pro.
“He’s a banger, definitely likes to bang, but I can do more than just slug,” said Jones, who is co-promoted by Top Rank, Inc., and Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win, even if I have to pound him out, but I want to be moving to set everything up. I don’t know if he can take my power. My plan is not to give him anything and not to give him any advantage.”
Jones, along with his trainer Vaughn Jackson, came up with successful game plans for the other recent sluggers Jones has faced, which helped him score two wins over Jesus Soto-Karass in 2010 and 2011, and over Sebastian Lujan in his most recent fight on Dec. 3. They are, likewise, coming up with a plan for Bailey.
“It’s like game-planning for a tough defense in basketball,” Jones said. “You have to take Bailey’s best attribute – his banging – away from him. Once you do that, things become a lot easier.
“He’s a strong guy. He hits hard with that right hand and that left hook is not too weak, either. I’m looking for the best Randall Bailey and I want him to bring his best because I know that will bring out the best in me.”
Jones wants to make a strong statement with his performance on June 9, and although he rarely makes a prediction on his fights, he nonetheless is confident on what he’s going to do.
“Making a statement in this fight is showing my best, winning the fight and looking fantastic,” Jones said. “The plan always is for me to show the world something better each and every time out.
“I don’t have a prediction, but I’m just going to beat him down.”