Tonight from Bally’s Atlantic City, former title challenger Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KO’s) returns to the ring after a 26-month layoff when he takes on Jaime Herrera (11-2, 6 KO’s) in a 10-round bout that will headline an 8-bout card to be streamed on www.gfl.tv for $14.99. The show is promoted by Peltz Boxing and will begin at 7:30 PM ET.
During the layoff, the 31 year-old Jones moved his base from Philadelphia to Las Vegas. Jones believes that it may take a couple of rounds to get his sea legs back after long lay off.
“Anytime someone hasn’t been in the ring that long, there maybe a little ring rust,” said Jones.
But Jones feels it won’t be that big of a problem as he has been in the competitive gym circuit in Las Vegas where it is not hard to find world championship caliber sparring.
“I been working out most of the time while i was on the layoff. I feel that there were a couple of positives to come out of it. I feel I am smarter now, i am rejuvenated mentally and physically and I haven’t been hit in 2 years.”
The last time most boxing fans saw Jones, he was being stopped in the 11th round of his IBF title bout with Randall Bailey. In that fight, Jones was was comfortably ahead on all 3 judges scorecards and was just 3:08 away from being crowned world champion.
“After about 2 weeks it hit me pretty hard. I looked at it in a variety of ways. I was fighting all wrong. Even though I was winning the fight, my style was all wrong. I wasn;t slipping the right hand and I wasn’t doing all the things I can do.”
“During the break, I cleared my mind, I changed what I can do. I am bringing it back from the start. I needed the break for a clear head. My mind needs to be 100% boxing.”
When most boxers have an extended amount of time off, doubt seeps into their mind, but Jones looked at as a time restart with a clean slate.
“Despite what happened in the last fight, I never lost doubt because I never stopped training and now I am ready to show what I can do. Boxing is a form of martial arts and I am a true martial artist. I am totally happy when I am boxing.”
Jones learned one valuable thing while he time to ponder his next move.
“I should never take business personal.” in reference to rumored differences with his handlers.
When asked about why he uprooted to the Sin City, Jones said, “Vegas is a big attraction there is always different work and there is a lot of knowledge to be learned out there. I love Philadelphia and you never know at some point, I could be back here.”
In Herrera is fighting a man who knows a thing or two about pulling the upset as in his last bout he stopped undefeated prospect Michael Finney (12-0) in five rounds.
“All i know is that he stopped the undefeated guy and he throws a lot of punches but I am ready for a good fight on Saturday, ” finished Jones.