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Saturday night at Ballys Atlantic City, New Jersey, welterweight Jamie Herrera (12-2, 7 KOs) overcame two knockdowns to outwill the formerly ranked IBF #2 contender Mike “Machine Gun” Jones (26-2, 19 KOs) en-route to a seventh round TKO victory. Jones, who has always been known for his powerful hooks and hand speed, was in control in the early going as he had Jamie Herrera backing up and badly hurt in the second. Herrera tried fight back but got caught with a big left hook and was sent to the canvas just as the bell sounded. Herrera rose to his feet and was on unsteady legs as referee Earl Brown almost stopped it.
Jones looked to finish the show in the third and went for it with a multiple punch combination that had Herrera again touching the canvas. This time though Jaime Herrera was in better shape and fought back hard. Both fighter clashed heads during an exchange that opened a cut on the left eye of Jones who fought carefully and tentatively in the closing moments of the round.
Herrera seemed to gain confidence and began to apply the pressure as the rounds progressed. By round six Jones was game and fading. Herrera’s flurries were doing their damage and his right hands had nearly closed Jones left eye. Jones was hurt several times and fading quickly. Herrera seized the opportunity and continued to batter Jones throughout the seventh round. Jones looked beaten and his left eye was closed as the bell sounded to end the round. The ringside Physician took a look in the corner at Jones and had the referee wave the fight off giving Jaime Herrera the well-deserved upset victory at the three minute mark of the seventh round.
In the co-feature of the evening, Tommy “Cornflake” LaManna (15-0, 7 KOs) captured his biggest victory as a professional with an impressive eight round unanimous decision victory over dangerous veteran Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (14-12-1, 6 KOs).
Davis, who had tested the likes of some of the best including world title challenger Gabriel Rosado and former WBO junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman, came out strong timing the single jabs of LaManna to get inside to work the body of LaManna. The undefeated LaManna calmed down and began to work well from in rounds three through five. LaManna’s seemed to be getting strong as the fight progressed and began to set down on multiple punch combination and wobbled Davis in the fifth. LaManna seemed in control in the seventh but fighting well while stepping in and out of the pocket. Davis was tired, but his will and spirit made the final two rounds exciting. In the last twenty seconds of the fight, both fighters went toe-to-toe as the crowd cheered vociferously for the efforts of both fighters. Neither would land the big blow, sending the fight to the scorecards. All three judges saw the fight in favor of Thomas “Cornflake LaManna by scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 78-73 for the impressive eight round unanimous decision victory.
Junior lightweight Grashino Yancy (1-0) used heavy bodywork in rounds two and three to will his way to a four round split decision victory over fellow debutant Carlos Rosario (0-1) Rosario was the better boxer on the outside and captured one scorecard (39-37). However, the heavy bodywork of Yancy made the difference on the other two officials who both saw it 39-37 the bout his favor for the four round split decision victory.
A pair of South Jersey junior middleweights put on a heated battle for local bragging right with Vineland’s Ismael “Tito” Garcia (7-0-1, 3 KOs) pulling out the hard fought six round unanimous decision victory over Camden’s Gilbert Alex Sanchez(4-4-1, 2 KOs). Garcia took control right from the opening bell as he rocked Sanchez twice and dropped him just before the bell sounded to end the round. The power of Garcia was evident and he had Gilbert Alex Sanchez wobbly in the second and the third. Garcia could not get him out and he eventually tired. Garcia was forced to fight in spurts, while on the bicycle. Sanchez put on the pressure throughout the final three rounds, but Garcia landed the cleaner shots. All three officials saw it in favor of Ismael Garcia by scores of 59-54 x 2 and 58-55 for the six round unanimous decision victory.
Heavyweight prospect Joey Cusumano (8-1, 6 KOs) opened the show in dramatic fashion, by dropping Randy Easton (2-4-1, 2 KOs) twice, en-route to a one sided second round knockout. Cusumano took control early in the second with a big right hand which forced Easton to cover. With Easton fighting tentatively, Cusumano landed a right hand up top, but Easton tripped and fell into the ropes. Referee Henry Grant ruled it a knockdown. Easton was not hurt, but it wouldn’t matter as Cusumano sent him the canvas for the ten count at 2:36 from a devastating left hook underneath to finish the show.
Junior lightweight Grashino Yancy (1-0) used heavy bodywork in rounds two and three to will his way to a four round split decision victory over fellow debutant Carlos Rosario (0-1) Rosario was the better boxer on the outside and captured one scorecard (39-37). However, the heavy bodywork of Yancy made the difference on the other two officials who both saw it 39-37 the bout his favor for the four round split decision decision victory.
Debuting lightweights Omar Curry and Marvin Johnson fought a spirited four round slugfest but when all the smoke cleared the bout was declared a majority draw. Johnson was the sharper and more active fighter and appeared to capture the final two rounds and take the fight, which was shown on the one scorecard that read 39-37 in his favor as did Fightnews. However, the other two officials saw the fight 38-38 for the majority draw.
Undefeated super bantamweight Anthony Caramanno (2-0) had to survive a second round flash knockdown to pull a razor thin four round unanimous decision over Marquise Pierce (1-4) by scores of 38-37 across the board. The knockdown came from a hard right hand, but Caramanno was the fighter with the better defense and tighter combinations to pull out the rounds three and four on his way to the unanimous decision victory.
Story by Lem Satterfield, of The Ring Magazine
Las Vegas, NV—Former world-title challenger Mike Jones wrapped up his preparations yesterday at the Top Rank Gym here for Saturday’s 10-round comeback fight against Jaime Herrera, of Franklin Park, IL, at Bally’s Atlantic City.
It has been more than two years since Jones last fought. He was stopped in the 11th round of his IBF world welterweight title fight with Randall Bailey, of Miami, FL, at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. That was June 9, 2012.
Since then, Jones, 31, moved from Philadelphia, PA, to Las Vegas, was idle for two years while working out daily in Las Vegas gyms, and now is trained by Ismael Salas and Miguel Diaz.
“Boxing is a mental game just as much as a physical one,” said Salas, pictured above with Jones, Diaz and Richie Sandoval. “When we first worked with Mike for this fight, we talked for a long time and worked on renewing his fighting spirit. He is a great fighter and he needs to think that when he walks into the ring he will be a powerful force.
“Mike is very strong and hits hard. He is in top condition; just look at him. After two years off, you will see what hard work and mental toughness did for Mike. He’s ready to fight.”
Salas has worked with 10 world champions, the most recent being Jessie Vargas, of Las Vegas, the current WBA junior welterweight champion.
Jones, who has won 26 of 27 pro fights, 19 by knockout, makes his fourth appearance at Bally’s, where he has defeated Lenin Arroyo, Raul Pinzon and Henry Bruseles.
Herrera, 25, is 11-2-1, 6 K0s. He comes into Saturday’s fight off the biggest win of his career, a fifth-round knockout over previously unbeaten Michael Finney, of Pahrump, NV, last March 29 in Las Vegas. Herrera’s management has been asking for this fight ever since word got out in May that Jones was fighting again.
The scheduled eight-round middleweight semifinal features Thomas LaManna, of Millville, NJ, against Jamaal Davis, of Philadelphia, in a prospect- vs.-veteran crossroads match. LaManna is 14-0, 7 K0s; Davis 14-11-1, 6 K0s.
Ismael Garcia, of Vineland, NJ, and Gilbert Alex Sanchez, of Camden, NJ, collide over six rounds to determine the best junior middleweight prospect in South Jersey. Garcia is 6-0, 3 K0s; Sanchez 4-4-1, 2 K0s.
ABOUT AUGUST 23
The Jones-Herrera and LaManna-Davis fights top an eight-bout card at Bally’s Atlantic City. First fight is 7.30 pm. Tickets are priced at $50 and $75 and they are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000). Tickets also are on sale at www.peltzboxing.com and www.ticketmaster.com. www.gofightlive.tv will stream the card on the internet. The card is being promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., and Top Rank, Inc., in association with Bally’s Atlantic City.
Jones, 31, is now living in Las Vegas. He has not boxed since June 9, 2012, when he was stopped in the 11th round.by Randall Bailey, of Miami, FL, in their fight for the vacant IBF world welterweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.Far ahead on points, even after being dropped in the 10th round, Jones was less than three minutes, 20 seconds from the world championship when Bailey drilled him with a right hand.It was Jones’ first loss in 27 pro fights.“The last time I spoke with Mike was at the airport in Las Vegas the next morning,”said promoter J Russell Peltz, who was with Jones from his pro debut in 2005 before joining forces with Top Rank late in 2010 to further Jones’ career.“I asked Mike to stop in my office after a few days and he said he would but he never showed up. I texted him, asking him to read a post-fight story from a Philadelphia-based website (www.phillyboxinghistory.com) which talked about unfulfilled promise and I felt that one story best described Mike’s career in a nutshell. Mike texted me back and said he agreed that the story was accurate.“A few days later, I was contacted by Eric Melzer, an attorney from New Jersey, who asked me to handle all my dealings with Mike through his (Melzer’s) office.�Peltz and Jones have not communicated directly since.“I read a few stories on the internet that he was dissatisfied, not happy with me,” Peltz said. “I have never heard from him directly. To paraphrase the late Hall-of-Fame promoter Mickey Duff: There is nothing in my contract with Mike Jones that says we have to like each other. It only says that I have to do the best job I can to advance his career and that is what I have tried to do. I am excited about his return.For the last two years, Peltz has been trying to get Jones back into the ring. It almost happened in June of 2013 when Jones had agreed to box Ray Narh, of Ghana, at Bally’s Atlantic City, but managerial issues appeared to have stalled the comeback.“His management issues are out of my control,”Peltz said, “but I cannot understand why Mike would waste two years of his career smack in the middle of his prime. He apparently moved to Las Vegas a few weeks after the Bailey fight. At different times, he was training with Floyd Mayweather, Sr., and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. Now he is with Ismael Salas and Miguel Diaz. I don’t think Mike has missed too many days in the gym in the last two years. I know Miguel spoke to him earlier this year about fighting again.”There have been occasional stories on various websites and social media outlets about Jones, but Peltz has not spoken publicly until now.“Mike was quoted once as saying he was 26-0 in the ring and 0-26 at the negotiating table,” Peltz said. “I have been in this business for almost 45 years and I know what kind of job I did (and with Top Rank’s help) in bringing Mike to the steps of the world title.“We put him on three of the biggest stages where a fighter could perform: Cowboys Stadium (vs. Jesus Soto-Karass); Madison Square Garden (Sebastian Lujan); the MGM Grand (Bailey). His fights with Lujan and Bailey were not exactly barn-burners.“He was in a good fight with Soto-Karass the first time, though it was a controversial decision in Mike’s favor. I was the one who went into Soto-Karass’ dressing room afterward and asked for a rematch. When was the last time the winning camp did that? To his credit, Mike agreed he needed to win more decisively and that’s what he did in the rematch in Las Vegas.”After an easy K0 against over-matched Raul Munoz, of Kansas, Jones defeated Lujan in Madison Square Garden in a less-than-thrilling 12-rounder.“It seemed like once Mike got to a certain level, he began to fight more conservatively,” Peltz said. “He was paid accordingly. He had two six-figure purses and he was unhappy with the Bailey money, but he took the fight and a shot at the world title and he was almost there.“I remember walking out of the arena and into the dressing room during the fourth or fifth because of the lack of action and some booing from the crowd. I watched the rest of the fight on the monitor and I said to myself that we’re going to win the title but we’re going to have to defend overseas because US television wasn’t going to be banging down our doors. Then Bailey nailed him and it was over.”It will be an absence of more than 26 months when Jones, now not ranked due to inactivity, gets back into the ring with Herrera on Aug. 23.“This could have been done a lot sooner,” Peltz said. “Mike could have been right back in the mix at 147 pounds. Herrera is no slouch but if Mike can win and look good, he still can have a bright future. When he was coming up and knocking guys out, I thought he single-handedly would revive boxing in Philadelphia, but he lost his aggressiveness along the way. Mike has the size and the power and the athleticism to go all the way. He has been quoted as saying things will be different this time around.“There are many in the media who couldn’t care less about Mike, but people have a way of changing their minds after one good performance–not only the media, but also the public. People are fickle. We’ll just have to wait and see.”ABOUT AUGUST 23The Jones-Herrera fight tops a seven-bout card at Bally�s Atlantic City. First fight is 7.30 pm. Tickets are priced at $50 and $75 and they are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000). Tickets also are on sale at www.peltzboxing.com and www.ticketmaster.com. www.gofightlive.tv will stream the card on the internet. The card is being promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., in association with Bally�s Atlantic City.
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In 2010 and 2011, Philadelphia welterweight Mike Jones began to get a lot of hype. He was undefeated, getting television time, stepping up his level of opposition and had an interesting story in that he held a day job at Home Depot and was a single father.
Then came his shot at a vacant world title against Randall Bailey in June 2012 on the undercard of the first Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. fight.
It was a horrible, horrible fight. For nine-plus rounds Jones and Bailey stared at each other and moved around the ring. It was agony. It wasn’t as if Jones had looked all that good in his previous couple of fights either, but he was nonetheless way ahead of Bailey going into the 10th round (99-91, 98-92 and 97-93).
But Bailey, one of the greatest pure punchers in boxing, dropped Jones late in the 10th round with his vaunted right hand and then knocked him out with it in spectacular fashion in the 11th round.
And just like that, poof, Jones disappeared from boxing (not a bad thing, considering how abysmal his recent fights had been).
Even when there were whispers about a return, it didn’t happen as he was either changing trainers (Floyd Mayweather Sr., Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Miguel Diaz) or beefing with his managers and promoter.
Now Jones (26-1, 19 KOs), 31, of Philadelphia, is launching a comeback. When he steps back into the ring it will have been 26 months since he was erased by Bailey.
Jones, who is training in Las Vegas, will face Jaime Herrera (11-2-1, 6 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round welterweight bout on Aug. 23 (gofightlive.tv) at Bally’s Atlantic City in Atlantic City, New Jersey, promoter Russell Peltz announced on Wednesday.
“Two years late for work but it’s better late than never,” Jones said. “I’m excited to be back. I can’t wait to show the fans something special.
“I’ve always stayed in shape. I’ve been ready to fight for some time, but I didn’t like the terms. I cannot wait forever. If I can get one solid win under my belt, I’ll be back in the mix and ready for the best at 147 pounds.”
Herrera, 25, of Franklin Park, Illinois, pulled an upset in his last fight, knocking out Top Rank prospect Michael Finney on March 29 in Las Vegas.
“This is a terrific opportunity for me,” Herrera said. “It’s a big step up but I’m excited to test myself at the next level. Mike Jones is one of the best in the world at 147 pounds and I need to prove to myself and to others out there that I can compete at that level. We’ve been asking for this fight ever since we heard Mike was fighting again and now it’s here. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Undefeated Welterweight Mike Jones talks about his showdown with Randall Bailey on the Pacquiao – Bradley card
Philadelphia, PA – As training camps for Philadelphians Mike Jones, Teon Kennedy and Jesse Hart are winding down for their fights on June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, as part of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley championship card, all three are confident in bringing glory back home.
In perhaps the biggest night-ever for Philly fighters, Jones (26-0, 19 KOs) will battle Randall Bailey (42-7,36 KOs) of Miami, FL for the vacant IBF world welterweight title, Kennedy (17-1-2, 7 KOs) will challenge WBA world super bantamweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux (9-0, 7 KOs), of Cuba, while amateur star Hart, son of former middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, will make his pro debut.
Here are some of their comments from training camp:
MIKE JONES, #1 Rated Welterweight
“It is a lifelong dream to fight for the title. All I know is I’m 100% confident in myself and my abilities. I come to win and I will not lose.”
“I never get too high or too low. 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.”
“He’s (Randall Bailey) a banger, definitely likes to bang. I can do more than just slug. 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.”
“It’s like game planning for a tough defense in basketball. 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.”
“He has to watch out for my big shots, too. He’s shown he can be knocked out as well. He has his weak points; he doesn’t have a real good jab and he doesn’t put combinations together well. His thing is just trying to bomb you out with one punch. I just want to use my speed and show that I’m the better fighter all around.”
“Making a statement in this fight is showing my best, winning the fight and looking fantastic. 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.”
“I always dream about them holding my hand up and I’m the new world champion. There’s no doubt that I’ll be the new IBF world welterweight champion.”
TEON KENNEDY, In His First World Title Fight
“I’m excited about the fight. Whenever I go to bed all I do is dream about it.”
“I feel great. I’m in shape. I’m ready to go right now. Rigondeaux has quick feet, quick hands. My heart and determination will bring the title home.”
“I can’t let him fight his fight and let him get comfortable. I have to force him to make mistakes and take it to him in the first few rounds to show him that I’m there to fight. I believe that I can win a decision. I’m ready mentally and I’m in shape physically. I can’t wait for the fight. It’s a special night to have all of us Philly fighters on the same show.”
“I’m still going to use an aggressive style because he likes to be comfortable. I’m going to put different angles in, not going to go straight to him.”
“Anything can happen, so don’t blink.”
JESSE HART, Amateur Star In His Pro Debut
“Its big, real big, to be fighting my pro debut on the Manny Pacquiao show in Las Vegas. For all the years my dad (Cyclone Hart) fought, he never fought in Las Vegas, so it’s a big thrill for both of us to be in Vegas. This is dad’s dream. It will make for a great show to have us Philly fighters out there. You can’t go wrong.”
“Bernard Hopkins came to me and told me, ‘You’re going to be the next one up, you’re going to be the next great middleweight of Philadelphia,’ and that meant a lot to me.”
“Philadelphia embraced me as a fighter because of my dad. I had to display skill and show that I could stand on my own two (feet). If my dad wasn’t Cyclone Hart, I would still be able to have a name and solidify my boxing credentials. I plan on becoming another great Philadelphia middleweight.”
“My dad is a big, big part of the reason why I was so successful in the amateurs and why I will be successful as a professional. When I was an amateur, my dad surrounded me with great amateur coaches, but he was my head trainer and we were successful.”
“I’d like to think that I was made for a reason. That’s to be a champion. I wasn’t born to do nothing else, but box
Philadelphia, PA–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 (right), the IBF No. 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.”
MANNY PACQUIAO CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT ALONG WITH TRAINER FREDDIE ROACH AND HALL OF FAME PROMOTER BOB ARUM
BOB ARUM: We are coming into the home stretch of this promotion. The western conference finals in the NBA are now set and you will see a great presence of this fight during the TNT telecasts. TNT is a great partner of ours. They had billboards on the broadcast of each of the (Monday) playoff games. We are really anticipating a tremendous push in the days and weeks ahead. The card is an outstanding card. In the main event we have the Congressman Manny Pacquiao defending his welterweight title against undefeated world champion Timothy Bradley and that fight speaks for itself. The popular Jorge Arce against Jesus Rojas, a top fighter from Puerto Rico. The IBF Welterweight championship with the undefeated No. 1 contender Mike Jones against hard punching former world champion and current No. 2 contender Randall Bailey; and finally the WBA Super Bantamweight Championship between former amateur world champion and current WBA world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux defending against young Teon Kennedy of Philadelphia who has 17 wins and only one defeat. A great card top to bottom and I am pleased that the star of the show, Manny Pacquiao, is here with us today.
MANNY PACQUIAO: Good morning everybody. Training is good and we are getting ready for the fight.
FREDDIE ROACH: We had a really great training camp the first 3 weeks in Baguiao – very successful – and the last 3 weeks here in LA has been great. Manny’s focus is the best I have ever seen. We are going against a tough opponent, a tough undefeated opponent in Bradley. I have watched a lot of tapes on him and have seen a lot of holes in his defense and we are going to take advantage of them.
Is Bradley’s style – leading with his head – a concern to you?
FREDDIE ROACH: Yes, Bradley does come in head first. We have been working on how to nullify that. We have a lefty fighting against a righty. The two heads may clash, that could happen and it’s something we have to be aware of and something we will be prepared for.
What is your take on the way you last fight with Marquez happened?
MANNY PACQUIAO: The fight was not that hard for me but I was having some family problems. I was in 100% physical condition for that fight against Marquez but I did have some family issues that I had to deal with. I also underestimated him.
FREDDIE ROACH: Marquez is always going to give Manny troubles. He is a very good boxer and very smart. We had a great training camp going into that fight but on the last week everything fell apart. The personal problems affected the fight and I don’t think Manny will let that happen again. All of the distractions around him caused him to fight poorly. He is very focused for this fight.
What has been the key to your success in moving up all these weight classes?
MANNY PACQUIAO: The fights are all different. It is not easy to move up in weight but I try my best. I have to work very hard to build up my strength and gain weight. I have to build up my stamina to maintain the added weight while preserving my speed and movement.
FREDDIE ROACH: That’s where the bigger challenges were – the bigger fights. We do have to feed Manny more than 5 protein shakes a day to keep the weight on. He performed very well in those weight classes. Moving up in weight classes was necessary because that’s where the challenges were. We needed to do that to be where he is today. Manny did well and we did it the right way with Alex Ariza with the diet and the protein shakes and it worked out well for all of us.
FACT: When Manny moved from lightweight to welterweight he was taking in up to 8,000 calories a day.
Could you elaborate on Manny’s focus for this fight?
FREDDIE ROACH: Yes, his focus is very good. We don’t have days where he comes in tired a so forth because he has no nightlife whatsoever, besides the bible study. He is very focused on the fight. He and God are very close right now and he is just a better athlete – with no distractions – yes.
Were you concerned that the same-sex marriage comments or non-comments would be a distraction?
FREDDIE ROACH: The thing is everyone has an opinion in life and we are all entitled to our opinions, but I see no problem whatsoever. TMZ was outside he gym for a couple of days and we pacified them and that was it.
Do you feel you need to match numbers with Mayweather?
BOB ARUM: We aim to get the biggest possible numbers that we can get. We operate a completely different model from Floyd’s model and whatever numbers he allegedly reached or didn’t reach is really not relevant to us. It varies from fight to fight. The Marquez numbers, from the Manny fight in November, are certainly much greater than Mayweather’s numbers with Ortiz. You also have to realize that Mayweather was fighting one of our great fighters, Miguel Cotto, who is the number 3 PPV attraction, who has gotten great numbers on his own. So you have to factor all of that in.
Did you expect the firestorm over the same-sex marriage statement you made?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Did I know that my answer on legalizing same-sex marriage would create controversy? Yes. It’s a controversial issue. The reporter asked me about my stance on it and I answered his question. I am against legalizing same-sex marriage. That was all I said.
Will your commitment to religion reflect on your fighting in the ring?
MANNY PACQUIAO: When I committed my life to the lord I gave up many things that were not in keeping with what the Bible teaches. Boxing is a job and I do not look at it as anything more than that. It will not affect my job.
FREDDIE ROACH: No, Manny Pacquiao is fired up and ready to go. He is motivated. We have had great workouts and sparring sessions. We had four new sparring partners that came in for this camp. Everything is right where it is supposed to be.
BOB ARUM: From somebody who has visited the training camp a few times, the difference in Manny’s face is so apparent. He’s not as tired as he was and he’s not as worn as he was. There is a glow in his face. I think this religious awakening has been all good on his part. I am a little prejudiced because I am religious myself but I believe when young athletes find religion it will greatly enhance their careers.
Do you think we will see Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV?
BOB ARUM: Everything is on the table. Manny has this fight against Bradley. It’s a tough fight, and after the fight, as we always do, we’ll confer and decide on who the opponent will be and when the fight will take place. I haven’t discussed this with Manny because I never discuss future fights with a fight coming up. We’ll have plenty of time to discuss that and we also have a trip coming up with his family to Israel and we can discuss it then.
What aspect have you been working on to improve?
MANNY PACQUIAO: We work hard and we train hard every day to make sure we have a good fight for the fans on June 9.
FREDDIE ROACH: I have been watching Bradley a lot and he doesn’t rely very much on counter-punching. He is very offensive. He comes to fight which will make it a good fight for everybody. We have the game plan set after watching many, many tapes of Bradley. Manny should have a very good fight on June 9.
As a Congressman, do you come across trash talking?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I do not trash talk in boxing or in politics. I ignore trash talking directed at me. I don’t find it productive.
Are you the toughest public servant on the planet?
FREDDIE ROACH: That’s a stupid question.
MANNY PACQUIAO: It is hard to compare myself to other people.
What does Bradley do particularly well?
FREDDIE ROACH: He comes forward and is very aggressive. He is a well-conditioned athlete and we know we are in for a tough fight. Bradley is a good opponent.
Have you fought anyone strong like him before?
FREDDIE ROACH: No, because he is very strong and very muscular up top. I don’t think we have fought anybody that muscular. We have fought bigger ands stronger people, like Margarito and so forth. We have fought strong guys like him before, yes.
MANNY PACQUIAO: I agree with Freddie.
Do you feel Bradley will be in front of Manny?
FREDDIE ROACH: Yes, he will try to fight Manny. He will try to prove he is the better athlete – the better-conditioned athlete. We have a mover in camp so we are prepared if Bradley decides to move around, so we are prepared for anything he brings. It is my job to figure out what he may do differently. We make adjustments to prepare Manny for whatever may come. He’s ready for a boxer and I’m covering all my bases.
What is Manny’s advantage?
FREDDIE ROACH: Experience, speed and power. Experience is hard to deal with. Power will knock you out. Experience will make it a little easier for you.
MANNY PACQUIAO: Bradley is a different type of fighter and we don’t take this fight lightly. We have trained hard for Bradley because he is the type of fighter we cannot underestimate. Tim Bradley is undefeated and he is a champion.
MANNY PACQUIAO: I don’t know what Tim Bradley will bring in the ring on that night but we will be ready for whatever he brings. I know he will be 100% conditioned for the fight. We have practiced every kind of fight in the ring with four different sparring partners.
BOB ARUM: When you look at Manny’s opponents, the freshest guy he has fought will be Bradley. The others he has fought have been great names like Cotto, Margarito and De La Hoya and Hatton, but Bradley is not a great name but he is a great fighter and young and fresh. When you have a fresh fighter who has not taken a lot of punishment, he can be dangerous. The most important element with Bradley is his mind. He is a very, very determined young man. He is confident in his abilities and determined and that is a tremendous plus for any athlete. He feels as if his mind can take over. Some have doubts in their performance and it shows in up, whether it’s football, boxing or whatever.
It’s been a while since Manny has stopped anyone. Is he still the same fighter?
FREDDIE ROACH: I believe he is a better fighter now. He is more focused. If a knockout comes it will be a bonus. Bradley is a great fighter and he’ll be resilient, but I think you’ll see the best Manny Pacquiao yet.
MANNY PACQUIAO: I am doing my best in training. I stay focused and work hard to give a good fight.
MANNY PACQUIAO: My final words are I would like to invite everybody to watch my fight on June 9. It will be a good fight and there will be a lot of boxing in the ring. Thanks to everyone that was involved in the teleconference today and have a nice day.
BOB ARUM: I would like to see as many of you as possible in Indio on Thursday at Bradley’s workout. There are buses leaving from Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I’ll be there and am anxious to see him train and I know most of you are. I think it’s going to be a great fight – something special. Another thing that is special is the bible study that Manny participates in. Tonight in Manny’s apartment, we are going to shoot the bible study that many has been participating in and make it into a program which we will distribute. When an athlete has a religious experience it is a great thing and I want to show it to as many people as possible.
All-new editions of HBO’s all-access reality series 24/7 PACQUIAO/BRADLEY debut on Saturdays – May 26 (9:30-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) and June 2 (9:45-10:15 p.m. ET/PT) – while the finale debuts Friday, June 8 (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET/PT), the night before the welterweight title showdown.
Congressman Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs), boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the lone congressional representative from the Sarangani province in the Philippines, will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship crown against WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif., Saturday, June 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The Pacquiao-Bradley world championship fight will be produced and distributed Live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Tecate, AT&T and MGM Grand, remaining tickets to Pacquiao vs. Bradley are priced at $1,200, $900, $600, $400, and $200. Ticket sales at $1,200, $900, $600 and $400 are limited to 10 per person and ticket sales at $200 are limited to two (2) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
For Pacquiao-Bradley fight week updates, log on to www.toprank.com and www.hbo.com
Mike Jones, Teon Kennedy, Jesse Hart Box
On Pacquiao-Bradley Card in Las Vegas
Philadelphia, PA—In perhaps the biggest night-ever for Philadelphia fighters, three of them will appear as part of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley championship card on June 9 at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Mike Jones and Teon Kennedy will challenge for world titles, while amateur star Jesse Hart, son of former Philadelphia middleweight legend Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, will make his pro debut.
Jones (26-0, 19 KOs), the undefeated No.1 welterweight contender, will meet former two-time world champion and current No. 2 contender Randall “The Knockout King” Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs), of Miami, FL, for the vacant IBF welterweight title in a scheduled 12-round contest.
“This is a dream come true to be fighting for the title,” said Jones (right). “I’ve thought about this ever since I started boxing. I’ll do whatever I have to do to win the title.
“He (Bailey) has to watch out for my big shots, too,” the 29-year-old Jones said of Bailey’s well-known power. “He’s shown he can be knocked out as well. He has his weak points; he doesn’t have a real good jab and he doesn’t put combinations together well. His thing is just trying to bomb you out with one punch, but it’s hard to hit a moving target and that’s what I’ll be.”
Kennedy (17-1-2, 7 KOs) will square off against defending WBA super bantamweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux, of Cuba, also over 12 rounds. Rigondeaux is 9-0, 7 K0s, and had an extensive amateur career which included Gold Medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
“I can’t let him (Rigondeaux) fight his fight and let him get comfortable,” said the 25-year-old Kennedy (below). “I have to force him to make mistakes and take it to him in the first few rounds to show him that I’m there to fight. I believe that I can win a decision. I’m ready mentally and I’m in shape physically. I can’t wait for the fight. It’s a special night to have all of us Philly guys on the same show.”
Hart, a storied Philly amateur star who won the 2011 National Golden Gloves at 165 pounds and the 2011 USA National Championships at 178, will fight as a middleweight or super middleweight. He recently signed a lucrative pro contract with Top Rank. He is trained by his father, who was 30-9-1, 28 K0s, as a pro in the 1970s–a knockout artist who fought in-and-around Philadelphia his entire career.
Father and son are thrilled that Jesse’s pro debut will be in Las Vegas.
“It’s big, real big, to be fighting my pro debut on the Manny Pacquiao show in Las Vegas,” said the 22-year-old Hart. “For all the years my dad fought, he never fought in Las Vegas, so it’s a big thrill for both of us to be in Vegas. This is dad’s dream. It will make for a great show to have us Philly fighters out there. You can’t go wrong.”
One interesting note about the three Philadelphia fighters is that they are managed by Doc Nowicki, who handles Jones with Jim Williams, Kennedy with Williams and Joe Hand, Hart with David Price.
“I’m going to get a segway so I can get from the fighters’ locker rooms to ringside and then back to the locker rooms to celebrate and then do it all over again for my next fighter,” Nowicki said. “It’s going to be a hectic, but tremendous night.”