Some fighters have that “under-the-lights swagger” while others have the “gym kingship”. When a fighter has the best of both worlds, it shows. Fighters who have both and are pushed to their limits usually have the talent to pull through.
A fighter can learn more from being in a severe storm than he can from a walk in the park. This holds true in the gym or under the lights. If a fighter spars in the gym with fighters who are more experienced, he has a better chance of learning something. In those situations fighters realize what their capabilities are and how to adapt to different situations.
Philadelphia fighters are pushed to the limits endless times while sparring. This teaches them about themselves and what it takes to move forward.
We are fortunate to have so much talent in Philadelphia. It makes for great sparring for championship-caliber fighters. Welterweight Mike Jones has both swagger and kingship. He looks good both in the gym and under the lights.
Jones, out of Joe Hand Gym in Northern Liberties, faces the biggest test of his career against Argentina’s Sebastian Lujan on Saturday night in Madison Square Garden. A shot at the IBF world title awaits the winner.
Jones has “Philadelphia fighter” written all over him, starting back from his amateur days with the late Joe Frazier, when he was trained to be a puncher, to the new days of working with Vaughn Jackson and becoming the boxer he is. You literally have to kick Jones out of them gym–he eats right, trains right and fights right.
Lujan comes to fight, as they say, and he will be looking for a brawl. Both fighters should be ready to go toe-to-toe. The fight will be a test of power unless Jones sticks to boxing instead of brawling.
Jones (25-0, 19 K0s) is known for his knockout power, but the same Lujan is true of Lujan (38-5-2, 24 K0s). This fight will show what Jones brings to the table since he will be stepping up in caliber of opposition, much as he did in his two fights with Mexico’s Jesus Soto-Karass (11-13-2010 and 2-19-2011).
Winning this fight could put Jones in line for a match with Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz or Manny Pacquiao. He appears focused and ready.
If you cannot make it to the Garden on Saturday to see Jones in person, be sure to buy the Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito fight on HBO Pay Per View. Jones will be the first of four televised bouts, beginning at 9pm.
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Brittany Rogers contributes the BAM on Boxing column to PSC. You can also check her out, as well as everything else you need to know on Philly boxing, at PeltzBoxing.com. Follow Brittany on Twitter @bamonboxing and Peltz Boxing @PeltzBoxing.