Mike Jones 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 Horizon.

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.