3 Philadelphia Boxers Invade Vegas on Saturday on Pacquiao-Bradley Card!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (June 8, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © PhilBoxingHistory.com))
Mike Jones

On the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley main event there will be 3 Philadelphia boxers of which 2 will be getting their first world title bouts while the other makes his debut. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, will have 8 bouts Saturday night with 3 title bouts.

Unbeaten 29 year-old Mike “MJ” Jones, 26-0 (19), will be taking on former the former WBO and IBF light welterweight champion Randall “The-Knock-Out-King” Bailey, 42-7 (36), of Miami, FL, for the vacant IBF welterweight title. Bailey won his first 21 bouts by knockout. He is 37 and the IBF’s No. 2 contender.

Jones is the IBF’s No. 1 contender who holds the NABA and WBO NABO titles. He has scored wins in his last 13 fights against all Latino’s including his last fight Argentine’s Sebastian Lujan, the WBC Latino champ in a title eliminator. Jones has been destined for the title with the help of now co-promoter J ussell Peltz who joined Jones with Top Rank recently. Jones is a favorite though Bailey has a puncher’s chance.

Stable mate of Jones is Teon “the Technician” Kennedy, 17-1-2 (7), also of Philadelphia and former National amateur champion. He is the USBA champ in the super bantam division and No. 14 in the WBA. He is challenging champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, 9-0 (7), the Cuban out of Miami, FL. One common opponent is Lante Addy who Rigondeaux decisioned in 8 while Kennedy drew with Addy. The 25 year- old Kennedy will be the underdog but he cannot be counted out to pull off the upset especially since having the heart of a champion. Wade and Randy Hinnant will be working his corner. The champion is a 31 year-old southpaw.

The show may open with the Jesse Hart-Manuel Eastman, 0-1, of New Mexico light heavyweight match. Eastman made his debut a little over a month ago being stopped by another debut fighter in 3 rounds. This writer is strongly opposed to such a weak opponent and told this to co-manager Doc Nowicki as much. Anything other than a first round knockout by Hart would be a disappointment. This kid has a personality and worlds of ability. When asked about the change in trainer he said “who better than my dad?” That’s too been seen. One thing for sure won’t have the same style as his father who won his first 19 bouts by knockout. He finished at 30-9-1 (28) but never got that title shot.

Hart was reduced to an Olympic alternate losing his last match in the nationals which ended in a draw. The officials chose his opponent which caused Hart to realize it’s time to turn professional. He is a very good prospect whose father Eugene “Cyclone” Hart will be taking over as his trainer. Uncle Chip Hart, Al Mitchell (at Northern Michigan U.) and Fred Jenkins have all filled that spot at one time or another. Dave Price is the co-manager, also from Philadelphia. Hart is much too good for such an opponent. He has signed with Top Rank.

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