Vaughn Jackson, who has been training undefeated welterweight Mike Jones (26-0, 19 KOs) since Jones turned pro in 2005, has a quiet, yet bold confidence as his fighter is less than a week from boxing Randall Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs) for the vacant IBF world welterweight title on June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, as part of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley championship card.
“He’s well-prepared,” Jackson said of Jones, 29, the #1 rated IBF welterweight contender. “Mike is going to bring out the best in himself.”
Jackson is well aware of Bailey’s reputation as one of boxing’s strongest punchers, but feels that won’t be enough against Jones, a knockout threat himself with a 73% knockout percentage to Bailey’s 72%.
“I’ve been watching Randall Bailey for quite a while now,” Jackson said. “He still has a lot of power, but I’m not expecting any changes since he’s an older guy stuck in his old ways. Whatever he brings, we’ll be ready for it.
“People talk and say what they’re going to do, but when Bailey gets in the ring and feels how strong Mike is, he’s going to be in a lot of trouble and have his hands full. He’ll realize then he’s in with a full-blown 147-pound man. Mike is big. If Bailey thinks he can bully Mike, that’s not going to happen.”
Jackson, 42, one of the best of the new breed of trainers, feels that Jones has a big advantage in overall boxing skills, speed and movement, which will allow the younger Jones, to dictate the pace of the fight.
“Randall Bailey won’t be able to stand back and dictate the pace,” Jackson said. “Mike, with his all-around boxing talent, will dictate the pace. Bailey will have to move around more than he’s accustomed to, which he’s never been known to do and at his age (37) that will be even more difficult for him now. I think Bailey is going to step straight to Mike and try to hit the lottery. That’s the only chance he has, but Bailey’s chin is suspect, and Mike can crack, too.”
Jackson is excited about Jones’ first world title opportunity, but he’s treating it like all of their previous 26 winning efforts. Jackson is certain that Jones will shine brightly.
“Although this is a title fight, this is just another fight for us,” he said. “Bailey is just a stepping-stone for Mike to becoming the undefeated welterweight champion of the world, the new IBF champion.
“Mike’s going to shine like a 2,000-watt light bulb.”