News: Jones vs Bailey; Kim vs Rahimov; Abell vs Oquendo

Philadelphia, PA--With only a couple of weeks before his first world-title opportunity, undefeated welterweight Mike Jones, of Philadelphia, has the look and mindset of a champion as he prepares to meet the hard-hitting former champion Randall Bailey, of Miami, FL, in one of the co-feature fights on the June 9 Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV..

“It is a lifelong dream to fight for the title,” said Jones (right), the IBF No. 1 rated welterweight. “All I know is I’m 100% confident in myself and my abilities. I come to win and I will not lose.”

Jones’ confident demeanor extends to his attitude about expectations as well.

“I never get too high or too low,” stated Jones, 29, whose record is 26-0, 19 K0s. “I never need acceptance from anybody, whether I score a knockout or get a decision win. I stay true to myself. I believe in God and I believe in myself. That’s what matters to me.”

But will Jones’ confidence and attitude be enough to stop Bailey, who is well-known for his punching power? Bailey has scored 36 knockouts en route to a 42-7 record as a pro.

“He’s a banger, definitely likes to bang, but I can do more than just slug,” said Jones, who is co-promoted by Top Rank, Inc., and Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win, even if I have to pound him out, but I want to be moving to set everything up. I don’t know if he can take my power. My plan is not to give him anything and not to give him any advantage.”

Jones, along with his trainer Vaughn Jackson, came up with successful game plans for the other recent sluggers Jones has faced, which helped him score two wins over Jesus Soto-Karass in 2010 and 2011, and over Sebastian Lujan in his most recent fight on Dec. 3. They are, likewise, coming up with a plan for Bailey.

“It’s like game-planning for a tough defense in basketball,” Jones said. “You have to take Bailey’s best attribute – his banging – away from him. Once you do that, things become a lot easier.

“He’s a strong guy. He hits hard with that right hand and that left hook is not too weak, either. I’m looking for the best Randall Bailey and I want him to bring his best because I know that will bring out the best in me.”

Jones wants to make a strong statement with his performance on June 9, and although he rarely makes a prediction on his fights, he nonetheless is confident on what he’s going to do.

“Making a statement in this fight is showing my best, winning the fight and looking fantastic,” Jones said. “The plan always is for me to show the world something better each and every time out.
“I don’t have a prediction, but I’m just going to beat him down.”

Former Lightweight Title Challenger on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights

ESPN2 to Show Feature on Kelly Pavlik

Former Lightweight title challenger Ji-Hoon “Volcano” Kim (23-7, 18 KOs) will meet undefeated Lightweight Alisher “Ali” Rahimov (23-0, 12 KOs) in the 10-round main event May 25 on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra. Friday’s show will air at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN3 from St. Charles, MO. The card is presented by Banner Promotions.

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside for ESPN2 HD and ESPN3 at the Ameristar Casino describing the action, while studio host Bernardo Osuna will present the latest boxing news and highlights. On ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights), Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio.

ESPN2 & ESPN3 will include a feature on former Middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik profiling the Youngstown, Ohio, fighter as he is scheduled to fight Scott Sigmon on the June 8 edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. ESPN2 and ESPN3 will also include an Osuna interview with Timothy Bradley who will face Manny Pacquiao for his Welterweight title June 9 in Las Vegas.

Main Event:
South Korea’s Kim has won his last two fights, including a 10-round decision over Yakubu Amidu. After that fight boxing expert Dan Rafael wrote, “Amidu put up a strong effort but Kim's relentless punching was simply too much for him. Kim rocked Amidu several times in the first half of the fight and opened a cut over Amidu's left eye in the seventh round.”

Kim’s co-manager Paul Lee said, “Rahimov is a good technician and has a lot of experience. He's 36 years old, but he is still strong. However, Ji-Hoon has taller height and longer arms. He has a physical advantage and he's going to use it.”

Russia’s Rahimov, a 2000 Uzbekistan Olympian, is coming off a seventh-round knockout win over Saddam Kietyongyuth.

Friday’s co-feature will pit Heavyweights “Vicious” Vince Thompson (10-0, 2 KOs) against Joell “Joe Slick” Godfrey (14-6-1, 6 KOs). Washington’s Thompson, is coming off a technical decision win over Jonte Willis, while Tennessee’s Godfrey won a six-round unanimous decision over Leo Bercier in his last fight.

Follow ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on Twitter @ESPNFNF or like on Facebook.

Nice Guy Abell Coming into Hammond Confident

Hard to believe you're talking to a hard-punching heavyweight fighter when Joey "Minnesota Ice" Abell talks about how much he hates hurting people's feelings, but he is indeed.

Coon Rapids, Minnesota's Abell (28-5, 27 KOs) will be looking to pull off an upset when he takes on the more experienced two-time heavyweight title challenger "Fast" Fres Oquendo (33-7, 21 KOs) for the WBA Fedelatin Heavyweight Championship in the 10-round main event of Hitz Boxing's "Fight Night at the Horseshoe" event at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, this Friday, May 25.

Abell became part of boxing infamy while suffering a disappointing TKO loss to top contender Chris Arreola in January of last year.

As he moved in for the stoppage, Arreola kissed Abell in a show of poor sportsmanship. "He's a prick like that. That's part of his thing; he's the bad guy," explained Abell of Arreola's public persona. "Afterwards, he apologized, but I don't understand people like him. I'll never really completely get over that. He's the kind of person that doesn't care what he does. He's could say something and completely wreck somebody's self-esteem and not care. If I accidentally say something that might hurt someone's feelings, I can't live with myself."

Abell says he's glad to be moving forward from that experience and into this fight, another opportunity to move up the heavyweight ladder against a known commodity in Oquendo.

"I'm 100% ready for this fight."

Abell and Oquendo are well-acquainted, as they two have helped each other in preparation for fights with sparring.

"Fres is very sneaky as a fighter and very fast. He taught me a lot. I'm not necessarily worried about his power, as far as hitting me and getting me in trouble, but anybody as quick as he is can knock you out with a punch you don't see coming. But I think I'm just a smarter fighter. I've been dreaming about this fight and I hope I knock him out, but I'm not basing my fight plan on that. I'm going there, planning on winning a unanimous decision. He has a good chin and good defense, so it's no use going out there and wasting all my energy in the first few rounds. I have to go out there and use my athletic ability, my power and my youth to win."

Abell says he's enjoying his new career as a personal trainer at Experience Fitness in Blaine, Minnesota, because it makes him feel good to see his clients transforming their bodies into who they want to be. "Maybe that's my problem in boxing," he laughs. "I'm not enough of a prick."

The high-class atmosphere and luxurious surroundings the Horseshoe has to offer make their boxing shows a Las Vegas-style night of boxing that Chicago-area fans don't have to get on a plane to enjoy.

The Horseshoe Casino has an intimate, comfortable venue with luxurious seats, a spectacular gaming area, free parking, exquisite food and all the amenities -- and is just 20 minutes from Downtown Chicago.

Tickets for "Fight Night at the Horseshoe" are on sale now, starting at a fan appreciation price of $10, and are available at the "Venue" box office, and all Ticketmaster outlets.

Article posted on 23.05.2012

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