To Defend His NABA
Welterweight Title This Friday
By Tim Donaldson
This Friday, March 6, Mike Jones of Philadelphia will defend his
NABA Title against Dairo Esalas of Colombia at The Legendary
Blue Horizon. The fight will be the main event on a card
presented by Peltz Boxing and Joe Hand Promotions. The fight
also marks the return of Russell Peltz to The Legendary Blue
Jones last fought in December against Luciano Perez in a fight
that looked, at times, as though Jones just might lose. Perez
controlled the fight the first two rounds, but Jones knocked out
Perez in the third round. After the fight, we were to learn that
Jones was fighting with an injured hand. But this fight, I am
told by Doc Nowicki, Jonesí manager, Jones is fighting healthy
and looks good. He has been up at camp since February and will
be there until the fight. He has sparred more than one hundred
rounds, getting ready for this fight. He spends his mornings
running, six to ten miles a day and sprinting the final mile. He
also spends time during the day swimming and two to three hours
boxing, training either with the heavy bag, speed bag, shadow
boxing, or working with someone with the pads.
There is one snag, however. Up until last Sunday, Jones was to
fight Larry Mosley of Los Angeles. Mosley pulled out and Esalas
stepped in. Doc Nowicki tells me that this really doesnít matter
to Mike Jones. He will fight anyone. But Vaughn Jackson, his
trainer, has been getting him ready to fight Mosley and now has
to switch gears with less than a week before the fight. Esalas
likes to come straight at his opponents. And this is fine with
Jones. It gives him the chance to pick apart his opponent and
wear him down.
Although Nowicki has complete confidence in Jones, he does see a
danger in fighting Esalas. Esalas has forty-six fights under his
belt, compared to Jonesí sixteen. And even though Esalas has
lost his last five, he has fought against good fighters. So when
it comes to experience, he definitely has the edge. This should
be a real test for Jones.
And what is next for Jones. Doc Nowicki and Mike Jones have been
talking to ESPN and Showtime. Jones is now ranked 11 in the IBF
and WBA, and Nowicki anticipates that Jones will continue to
move up and fight more recognized names. In fact, they were
trying to set up a fight with Delvin Rodriguez, who will also be
fighting this Friday. Rodriguez will be facing Shamone Alvarez.
Rodriguez declined the fight. But sooner or later, Nowicki notes
that they will have to face Jones.
Also up at camp with Jones is Kaseem Wilson. He too will be
fighting this Friday. Wilson faces Martinus Clay, who lost to
Jones in August 2007. Nowicki says that Wilson also looks good
and is ready for his fight. Wilson has come back with a renewed
dedication to the sport, since losing back in August 2007 to
Russell Jordan. Wilson took off about a year but returned and
won his fight back in December against Marvin Rivera. Doc
Nowicki says that he only wants dedicated fighters, and Wilson
has shown that dedication.
This Friday night at The Legendary Blue Horizon should be a good
night for Mike Jones and Kaseem Wilson. Wilson, of course, wants
another win to show that he belongs in this sport. A win for
Jones means another step closer to that chance for a title. And
as always, the fans will be out to cheer Jones on.