Jones-Bailey, Rigondeaux-Kennedy on Pacquiao vs. Bradley undercard on June 9th
Philadelphia, PA—In perhaps the biggest night-ever for Philadelphia fighters, three of them will appear as part of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley championship card on June 9 at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Article posted on 17.05.2012
Mike Jones and Teon Kennedy will challenge for world titles, while amateur star Jesse Hart, son of former Philadelphia middleweight legend Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, will make his pro debut.
Jones (26-0, 19 KOs), the undefeated No.1 welterweight contender, will meet former two-time world champion and current No. 2 contender Randall “The Knockout King” Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs), of Miami, FL, for the vacant IBF welterweight title in a scheduled 12-round contest.
“This is a dream come true to be fighting for the title,” said Jones (right). “I’ve thought about this ever since I started boxing. I’ll do whatever I have to do to win the title.
“He (Bailey) has to watch out for my big shots, too,” the 29-year-old Jones said of Bailey’s well-known power. “He’s shown he can be knocked out as well. He has his weak points; he doesn’t have a real good jab and he doesn’t put combinations together well. His thing is just trying to bomb you out with one punch, but it’s hard to hit a moving target and that’s what I’ll be.”
Kennedy (17-1-2, 7 KOs) will square off against defending WBA super bantamweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux, of Cuba, also over 12 rounds. Rigondeaux is 9-0, 7 K0s, and had an extensive amateur career which included Gold Medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
“I can’t let him (Rigondeaux) fight his fight and let him get comfortable,” said the 25-year-old Kennedy (below). “I have to force him to make mistakes and take it to him in the first few rounds to show him that I’m there to fight. I believe that I can win a decision. I’m ready mentally and I’m in shape physically. I can’t wait for the fight. It’s a special night to have all of us Philly guys on the same show.”
Hart, a storied Philly amateur star who won the 2011 National Golden Gloves at 165 pounds and the 2011 USA National Championships at 178, will fight as a middleweight or super middleweight. He recently signed a lucrative pro contract with Top Rank. He is trained by his father, who was 30-9-1, 28 K0s, as a pro in the 1970s--a knockout artist who fought in-and-around Philadelphia his entire career.
Father and son are thrilled that Jesse’s pro debut will be in Las Vegas.
“It’s big, real big, to be fighting my pro debut on the Manny Pacquiao show in Las Vegas,” said the 22-year-old Hart. “For all the years my dad fought, he never fought in Las Vegas, so it’s a big thrill for both of us to be in Vegas. This is dad’s dream. It will make for a great show to have us Philly fighters out there. You can’t go wrong.”
One interesting note about the three Philadelphia fighters is that they are managed by Doc Nowicki, who handles Jones with Jim Williams, Kennedy with Williams and Joe Hand, Hart with David Price.
“I’m going to get a segway so I can get from the fighters’ locker rooms to ringside and then back to the locker rooms to celebrate and then do it all over again for my next fighter,” Nowicki said. “It’s going to be a hectic, but tremendous night.”
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