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Mikes Jones faces Jaime Herrera on 8/23

Mike JonesBy Dan Ambrose: Former welterweight title challenger Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KO’s) will be returning to the ring on August 23rd after a 2-year absence to fight 25-year-old Jaime Herrera (11-2, 6 KO’s) in a 10 round scheduled tune-up fight for the 31-year-old Jones at the Bally’s Event Center, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.

Jones has stayed inactive since being knocked out in the 11th round by knockout artist Randall Bailey in June of 2012 in their fight for the vacant IBF welterweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 6-foot Jones was well ahead on the score cards at the time of the stoppage, and he would have easily won the fight if he had stayed on the outside away from Bailey’s big power shots. But instead Jones got too close and was dropped by Bailey. Jones was also dropped in the 10th round of that fight.

Had Jones come back quickly from that defeat, he’d likely have already fought for another world title and made good money. But by staying out of the ring, Jones burned up 2 years of his career and had nothing to do for it. In coming back at 31, its unknown if Jones won’t be negatively affected by his long stay out of the ring.

Being out of the ring for 2 years is no big deal for a heavyweight, but for a welterweight, it’s not a good thing. But Jones still has the size and power to present a lot of problems to most welterweights if he can still make weight for the division. If he’s matched carefully enough, he might get a world title shot against one of the champions in a couple of years. But it’s definitely not going to happen in 2014, and it’s very unlikely Jones will get a crack at a world title in 2015 and 2016. None of the champions are going to volunteer to fight him due to his size. For him to get a world title shot, he’s probably going to need to become a mandatory challenger for one of the belts.

“Two years late for work but it’s better late than never,” Jones said. “I’m excited to be back in action at Bally’s in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on August 23. I can’t wait to show the fans something special. I’ve always stayed in shape. I’ve been ready to fight for some time, but I didn’t like the terms. I cannot wait forever. If I can get one solid win under my belt, I’ll be back in the mix and ready for the best at 147 pounds.”

The fight against Herrera isn’t a big enough fight to get Jones back into the thick of things. He’s going to need someone like Marcos Maidana, and it’s very doubtful that even a prime Jones would have been able to beat someone like Maidana. The reality is that the window for Jones may have already closed.


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