“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
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
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
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.