JONES: ‘IT TAKES MORE THAN A GREAT PUNCH TO MAKE A GREAT FIGHTER’
“It takes more than just a great punch to be a great fighter,” said Jones, “and I’m going to show that on Saturday night.”
Although he is 37 years old, Bailey is known for his ferocious punching power. But given the chance to choose the thicker, 10-ounce gloves, Jones chose the eight-ouncers, which have less cushion.
“The reason why I chose eight-ounce gloves was because I want the best Randall Bailey that Randall Bailey can offer, and that’s going to bring the best out of me. They say that you can get hit and knock somebody out, but you’ve got to catch them to hit them to knock somebody out in that ring,” said Jones.
“My strategy is to just make it harder for him when he throws that punch. To be there, but to not be there in a sense,” said Jones. “I want to make him reach for it, like he thinks that he’s going to hit me, but he can’t hit me. I want to counter off of that, and that’s what I feel will make the big difference.”
Jones, 29, wants to put his skills on display make himself marketable as a rival for the winner of Pacquiao-Bailey.
“I think that’s been on the horizon for a while now, and they’re just waiting for me to have that breakout performance before I could step up to that level. I’m doing everything in my power to be able to show the world that breakout performance,” said Jones.
“These experiences will make me so much better, right now. I think that was my biggest flaw, was that lack of experience. And now that I’m getting it, I’m becoming that much better of a fighter. On Saturday, that’s my chance to show that I’m one of the best out there, because I’ve got all of the talent in the world.”
JESSE HART DECLARES: ‘I WANT TO BE BETTER THAN SUGAR RAY ROBINSON’
Jesse Hart, who turns 23 on June 26, is the son of Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, a premier middleweight out of Philadelphia through the 1970s. The younger Hart will make his professional debut on Saturday night against New Mexico’s Manuel Eastman (0-1).
“There’s no pressure. This is what I’m ready for. This is what I’m in the gym for,” said Hart, who is trained by his father. “In the amateurs, I rose to the occasion for every event.”
Jesse Hart posted an amateur record of 85-11 and earned the a National Golden Gloves title at 165 pounds. In 2011, he won the USA National Tournament at 178 pounds and went undefeated at the double-elimination USA Olympic Trials box-offs.
“In the Olympic trials, they said, ‘he can’t do it. This is a double-elimination tournament. He’s fighting this guy, and that guy, it’s too tough,” said Hart.
“But I won every last one of them without a loss. I swept it. They called me the Michael Jordan of that tournament.”
Hart married his childhood sweetheart, Starletto Brayboy-Hart, in August of last year, and is expecting a daughter, Halo, to be born this coming August.
Hart’s hard-hitting father posted a career mark of 30-9-1 that included 28 knockouts, a victory over Sugar Ray Seals, a draw and a loss to Bennie Briscoe, and setbacks against Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, Willie “The Worm” Monroe, Marvin Hagler, Vito Antuofermo and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
“Manuel Eastman is there, but whoever they have for me, it doesn’t matter,” said Hart. “If it’s Chavez Jr., I’m taking that title. Whoever they bring into that ring, I’m going to work on.”
Hart has big goals.
“I don’t want to be better than Floyd Mayweather. I want to be better than Sugar Ray Robinson, because he was a real champion and a real fighter,” said Hart. “If Pacquiao wasn’t on the card, I would want to be the main event. I won’t stop until I make that happen.”
KELLY PAVLIK, MIKE LEE WEIGH IN FOR FRIDAY’S FIGHTS
Former undisputed middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik (38-2, 33 KOs) will headline an eight-bout card on Friday night against Scott Sigmon (22-3, 12 KOs) at the Hard Rock and Casino in Las Vegas.
The card includes light heavyweight prospect Mike Lee (8-0, 5 KOs), a Notre Dame graduate who has trained with Ronnie Shields in Houston, Texas, and has become popular due to his appearances in Subway commercials.
Pavlik and Sigmon each weighed in at 167 pounds on Friday, and Lee was 177 compared to 180 for his opponent, Eliseo Durazo (4-2, 1 KO).
The Pavlik-Sigmon undercard also includes Jesse Magdaleno (8-0, 5 KOs), a 20-year-old resident of Las Vegas, in a junior featherweight bout against Carlos Valcarcel (12-4-4, 5 KOs). Magdaleno and Valcarcel each weighed 122 pounds.
Pavlik is facing Sigmon in only his second fight with trainer Robert Garcia, under whom Pavlik debuted with a second-round knockout of Aaron Jaco in March.
Pavlik is after his third straight victory since being dethroned as WBC/WBO beltholder by RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez via unanimous decision in April of 2010.
Since then, Pavlik has fought twice at 169 pounds or above, including at 170 pounds for the 10-round majority decision over Alfonso Lopez in May of last year.
HBO AIRS TWO DAYS IN THE LIFE OF DONAIRE
HBO AIRS TWO DAYS IN THE LIFE OF DONAIRE
On June 16, HBO will air another edition of 2 Days, a 15-minute documentary monitoring 48 hours in the life of Donaire.
Donaire’s documentary will air at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT following the 10 p.m. broadcast of Chavez Jr.-Lee, after which Jim Lampley’s Fight Game will be shown.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org