Mike Jones Interview: “I’m more than ready for Sebastian Lujan”
By Anson Wainwright, MaxBoxing (Dec 3, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor, DHB)
Mike Jones (L) - Sebastian Lujan
Tonight, Mike “The Machine Gun” Jones, 25-0 (19), returns to action when he faces Sebastian Lujan on at Madison Square Garden, New York on the pay-per-view undercard of Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II. Over the summer, Jones blasted out Raul Munoz in quick time, scoring a second round KO on “Fox Sports Live.” The fight also allowed him to showcase his considerable talent in front of his home fans whom he fought in front of for the first time in just over two years. The ultra-professional Jones knows Lujan is a tough opponent but also knows he must not only win but impress against the man between him and his ultimate goal of winning a world title. Currently, the 28-year-old welterweight is in the top three by all four sanctioning bodies (#3 by the WBC, #2 by the WBA, #3 by the IBF, #1 by the WBO and #8 by The Ring magazine).
Anson Wainwright - You're fighting Sebastian Lujan on 3 December as part of the card headlined by Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. What are your thoughts on the occasion and what do you know about Lujan? 
Mike Jones – Well, I'm very excited to go and fight down at old Madison Square Garden. I'm going to show the crowd out there I'm one of the best welterweights in the world. I've trained hard for the fight. I'm more than ready. I've been ready for awhile now. I'm just shaking off, stretching out, waiting for my chance. I think [Lujan]’s a good fighter. That's exactly what he is, a fighter. I don’t see much boxing skills but he's a good fighter and you have to respect that. He's going to come after me and I know he's not going to run out of gas, so that's what I've been training for, to withstand pressure and the whirlwind he's going to bring towards me on December 3rd…but I'll be more than ready.
AW - What are your thoughts on all the controversy that has gone on behind the scenes regarding Margarito’s licensing and how has it affected you?  
MJ - It hasn't affected my training one bit but I was on pins and needles just wondering if the fight was going to happen or not ‘cause I heard Miguel Cotto saying he's not fighting anywhere unless it's New York.  
AW - While you have business to take care of, it’s considered that if you beat Lujan, you would be in line to fight Randall Bailey for the vacant IBF welterweight title.
MJ - That's all great but I take one fight at a time. Right now, this guy Lujan gets 100% of my focus.
AW - Over the summer, you stayed active beating Raul Munoz. What can you tell us about that fight?  
MJ - It was a stay-busy fight but it was a fight you know anything can happen in a fight. I prepared 100% and got in the best shape I could. I just wanted to put a show for Philadelphia fans ‘cause the fight was in Philly. I did so it couldn't have gone better.
AW - You fought Jesus Soto-Karass in a rematch earlier this year and won much easier than the first time out. What can you tell us about that fight and how pleased you were with your performance? What adjustments did you make from the first fight with Soto-Karass? 
MJ – Well, the second time around I fought Soto-Karass, I knew a bit more about what I was getting into. I knew he could take a lot of shots. I knew he could take punches well. He wasn't going to tire. He was going to keep putting pressure on me. So mentally, I was much better than I was the first time. The first time, I kind of took him a little lightly. I thought I could pop him out and I punched myself out. The second time, I was more mentally ready and I just went in there and handled my business and it was much easier for me.
AW - Can you tell us about the members of your team? Also, where do you train? 
MJ - My trainer is Vaughn Jackson. My promoter is Top Rank, Bob Arum and J. Russell Peltz. My co-managers are Jim Williams and Doc Nowicki. I train out of Joe Hand's gym.
AW - There are several big names at welterweight at the moment. What are your thoughts on how the division is currently shaping up? 
MJ – Well, you got to say Floyd Mayweather's at the top. Pacquiao’s right behind him and there's a bunch of guys from 140 that are supposed to be moving up to the welterweight division. I'm right in the middle of all of that trying to get a title shot. I feel as though it's a great division and I'm trying to put my stamp on it and show the world I'm one of the best out there.
AW - How did you see the Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III fight the other week?
MJ - That was a tough fight. It was pretty much an even fight but I thought Pacquiao pulled it out. A lot of people are saying Marquez won the fight but I don't know. I'm seeing it from the prospective of that Pacquiao had the belt. He was the champion and Marquez was the challenger and to beat the champion you have to go out there and really beat the champion. You have to go out there and win convincingly hands down and show some pressure and go get the fight. You can't counterpunch the whole night. Marquez didn't pressure all night, so I think [the ringside officials] did the right thing and gave it to Pacquiao.
AW - You're from Philadelphia, a tough place and a notorious fight town. Could you tell us how you got into boxing? 
MJ - I got into boxing when I was probably 15 years old. I was always a sports fanatic. I liked playing football. I liked playing basketball. I figured I'd try something different ‘cause I like physical sports, so I tried boxing and I went down to the Joe Frazier Gym and that's where I began as an amateur.
AW - Could you tell us about your amateur career? 
MJ - My amateur career, I never won a National title but won Golden Gloves, regionals and city. I went to the Nationals and fought three, four times but I lost. I fought at 152. I was about 62-10.
AW - As you touched on at the start of your amateur career, you worked out at the Joe Frazier Gym. Could you tell us about the influence such a great man had on you?
MJ - Joe Frazier was great. He taught me how to put power in punches. He was real big on that, how to plant your feet and come up with your shots and have good balance when you’re punching, put the most amount of power you can in your punches. They taught me to work hard, train everyday hard. They gave me a good work ethic in there even though I already had it in me. They instilled a little bit more. Fighting out of that gym was great. He was a good mentor to me. God bless his soul. Joe Frazier taught me a lot.
AW - When you’re not boxing or training, what do you like to do with your spare time? What are your hobbies and interests? 
MJ - I like to go out eat with my kids, being around my children. Relax with my dog, sit around and watch TV,  you know, your regular couch potato stuff. I like football and basketball. I'm always watching SportsCenter [on ESPN]. I like the 76’ers in basketball and the Eagles in football, the Philadelphia teams.
AW – A current top dog, Bernard Hopkins, is from Philly. Can you tell us a bit about the relationship you both share and what sort of inspiration he is to you? 
MJ – Well, Bernard is a big inspiration to me. He's a living legend. He's still doing his thing. He's about 46, 47 years old and that's outstanding to be able to do that. It shows he lives right, sleeps right, eats right. Even to be able to talk about boxing at 46 years old. [When] I run unto Bernard Hopkins, he has nothing but positive things to say to me. In one instance when I came back from the first Soto-Karass fight, he told me some stern words. He came to me and said if I want to stay and have longevity in this game, I've got to use what God gave me. I've got to stay behind the jab and to throw the right hand down the pipe. I can't go in there and give these guys their only chance of winning, that's brawling with these guys. You can do it but you haven't got to do it. I really took that to heart and that's one of the reasons I came out in the second Soto-Karass fight so determined to box and make him run into the shots and not get caught up in a war.
AW - At the tail end of 2010, it was mentioned that you may fight Kell Brook from England. The fight hasn't happened. What can you tell us about that fight and what happened? 
MJ - He's a good fighter, very talented. I don't know what happened. I guess that's up to the promoters. I know he's one of the best in the world and I'm considered one of the best in the world. Sooner or later, we'll meet up.
AW - The first fight with Soto-Karass took place at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on the Manny Pacquiao-Margarito bill. What was that like for you to appear on such an illustrious card as that in front of so many people? 
MJ – Oh yeah, it was pretty cool. The crowd and everything was kind of surreal. They were making a lot of noise. I think once you've been through it, it helps you the next time it comes around to go through something like that.
AW - You think that occasion will help prepare you for fighting at Madison Square Garden in front of what is sure to be another boisterous crowd?
MJ - Yeah, most definitely. It can only help ‘cause of the experience.
AW – Finally, do you have a message for your fans? 
MJ - I love my fans and supporters out there. You can get in touch with me on Twitter @boxermikejones and look me up on my website, www.mikemachinegunjones.com, and keep following me and I'm putting on a show December 3rd. I'll show the world I'm one of the best out there.

Questions? Comments? Contact Anson at elraincoat@live.co.uk.

This article provided to DoghouseBoxing.com by © MaxBoxing.com

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