Boxing Notebook: Welterweight Mike Jones Remains Undefeated
Philadelphia welterweight (147 pounds) contender Mike Jones remained undefeated with Saturday night's 10-round, unanimous decision over Puerto Rico's Henry Bruseles at the Bally's Park Place Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
Judes Waleska Roldan, and, Alan Rubenstein both saw it, 99-92, for Jones, with Luis Rivera scoring it, 97-92, for the winner, a 5-foot-11, boxer-puncher in a talented division.
The 26-year-old Jones (pictured above, punching Bruseles) rose to 20-0, even as he fell short of earning his 17th knockout and his fifth stoppage in his past six fights.
"I give myself about a 'C.' I thought that I could do a lot better. I got the victory and that's all that counts. I kind of like to study my opponents first, because I didn't know what he was going to do, so I had to take my time in there," said Jones, who was coming off of November's fifth-round knockout of 29-year-old Raul Pinzon (16-4, 15 KOs), of Colombia.
"I think that I was able to close my distance and to find him with the jab a lot better," said Jones. "And once I started to find him with the jab, my rights hands and left hooks were coming right after that, and I was finding him a lot easier."
The 29-year-old Bruseles (28-4-1, 15 KOs) was the toughest opponent to date for Jones, having entered the night riding a seven-bout winning streak since losing by eigthth-round knockout to Floyd Mayweather in January, 2005.
"[Training camp] was real important. I was away from everything for five weeks, so I was able to focus, and it showed tonight. I put on a good performance, I thought," said Jones.
"There were a lot of things that [Bruseles] was doing that I can get better at," said Jones. "He's a veteran, so he stayed tight, and I couldn't really get to his body real good like I usually do to my opponents, but we'll work on that when I get back in the gym."
Jones remained a factor in a weight class that includes seven-division WBO king, Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts), who, like Jones, is promoted by Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank. Jones' lead promoter is Russell Peltz.
Also promoted by Arum is Ghana's Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs), who will face Pacquiao on March 13 at The Dallas Cowboys' Stadium, in Arlington, Tex.
WBA super champion, Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs), will face Mayweather (40-25 KOs) on May 1, and WBC titlist, Andre Berto (25-0, 19 KOs), meets Puerto Rican former world champion, Carlos Quintana (27-2, 21 KOs), on April 10.
Another option is Germany's IBF champion, Jan Zaveck (28-1, 16 KOs), who dethroned Isaac Hlatshwayo (29-2-1, 10 KOs) of Soweto, South Africa, with December's third-round knockout victory.
"I'm not disappointed at all. I like getting in the rounds," said Jones. "I'm going to go up there against better competition later in my career, so it's good that I'm able to get these tough rounds with these proven veterans like Bruseles."
Jones-Bruseles was part of the fifth airing of Top Rank Promotions' 36-show, "Top Rank Live" series with Fox Sports and Fox Sports en Español.
The two-hour broadcast has aired at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports en Español on Saturdays, three times, monthly, and has had at least one monthly show originating directly from Mexico.
On the Jones Bruseles undercard, 28-year-old, former world junior middleweight (140 pounds) Kendall Holt (25-4, 13 KOs) suffered a sixth-round, knockout loss to South Africa's 30-year-old Kaiser Mabuza (23-6-3, 14 KOs) in an IBF eliminator.
Mabuza could now earn a shot at the winner of a March 6, unification bout in Connecticut between Colombian-born IBF titlist Juan Urango (22-2-1, 17 KOs) and 22-year-old, southpaw WBC champion, Devon Alexander (19-0, 12 KOs) of St. Louis, Mo., that is slated for March 6.
In a 10-round, undercard bout, junior middleweight (154 pounds) Gabe Rosado (14-4, eight KOs) of Philadelphia scored a split-decision victory over Saul Roman (32-6, 27 KOs), of Tijuana, Baja, Calif., Mex. (Rosado is pictured at right, punching Roman).
Wilfredo Vazquez stops Marvin Sonsona
Wilfredo "WV2" Vazquez Jr. won a clash of talented, unbeaten fighters when the 25-year-old scored a fourth-round knockout of 19-year-old, southpaw, Filipino sensation, "Marvelous" Marvin Sonsona, for the vacant WBO super bantamweight (122 pounds) title on Saturday night at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, in Vazquez's hometown of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Considered the Philippines' next Manny Pacquiao, Sonsona (14-1-1, 12 knockouts) crumpled to the canvas following a left hook to the body at 1:06 of the round, as Vazquez rose to 18-0-1, with his 15th career knockout.
The triumphwas Vazquez third, consecutive knockout, improving his winning streak to nine consecutive victories with seven stoppages during that time.
The son of the former world champion by the same name, Vazquez was coming off of November's seventh-round knockout of Genaro Garcia, and made history by becoming the first Puerto Rican son of a former titlist to also win a crown.
Sonsona had dethroned Jose Lopez as WBO super flyweight (115 pounds) champion in September, but following his first defense of that title -- November's 12-round draw with Alejandro Hernandez -- he was forced to vacate the belt as a result of his failure to make the 115-pound limit prior to the fight.
Vazquez-Sonsona was part of a split-site, "Double Assault" pay-per-view broadcast which began at 9 p.m. ET, and was distributed in America and Canada by Integrated Sports Media.
In action later on Saturday night from Guadalajara, a clash between 28-year-old, WBC light flyweight (108 pounds) titlist Rodel "Bantang Mandaue" Mayol (26-4-2, 20 KOs) of the Philippines, and former WBC light flyweight king, Omar "Giant Killer" Nino (28-3-2, 20 KOs), of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mex., ended in a disputed, third-round technical draw.
Referee Vic Drakulich called a halt to the bout following a controversial finish, this after Romero blased Mayol with a succession of shots below the belt, and then, nailed him with a left hook when the champion paused as a result of the illegal blows.
As Drakulich stepped in two warn Romero, the challenger nailed Mayol with a left hook, sending the dazed titlist to the canvas. Mayol, who retained his crown with the verdict, was removed from the ring on a stretcher, and the bout was ruled a draw by WBC officials.
In another matchup airing from Guadalajara, 24-year-old, WBC youth lightweight (135 pounds) champion, Daniel "Tremendo" Estrada (22-1, 18 KOs), of Mexico City, scored a knockout in the 10th and final round over veteran Angel Alirio "El Morocho" Rivero (21-8-1, 14 KOs), of Tijuana, Baja Calif., Mex.
In yet another matchup airing from Bayamon, 21-year-old cruiserweight (200 pounds) and 2008, Puerto Rican Olympian, Carlos Negron (8-0, six KOs) scored a first-round knockout over 37-year-old Roy Ashworth (5-8, one KO) of Lake Charles, La.
Hekkie Budler decisions Juanito Rubillar
South African light flyweight (108 pounds) Hekkie Budler scored a 12-round, majority decision over 33-year-old, southpaw, Phillipines' native, Juanito Rubillar, on Saturday night to improve to 14-0, with five knockouts before his hometown fans at Kempton Park, in Gauteng, South Africa.
In his failed bid to earn the vacant IBO title, Rubillar slipped to 48-14-7, with 23 knockouts against Budler, whose nickname is "The Hexicutioner."
Budler won, 117-113, and, 115-113, on two cards, with the third judge scoring it even at 114-114.
On the undercard, South African, southpaw super middleweight (168 pounds) Thomas Oosthuizen (10-0, seven KOs) earned a 12-round, unanimous decision over Zambian, John Chibuta, who slipped to 8-4, with one knockout.
Also, South African, bantamweight (118 pounds) Tshifhiwa Munyai (19-1-1, nine KOs) won a 12-round unanimous decision over Daniel Ferreras (8-5-1, three KOs) of the Philippines, and 20-year-old South African lightweight (135 pounds) Jason Bedeman (11-0-2) scored a second-round knockout of Ghana's Bilal Mohammad (14-4, 11 KOs).
Bedeman earned his ninth career knockout, and his third straight since battling Joseph Modise to a six-round draw in July.
Rayonta Whitfield stops Sergio Espinoza in ninth round
With the WBO NABO flyweight (112 pounds) crown on the line, 28-year-old Rayonta Whitfield, of Augusta, Ga., stopped 31-year-old Sergio Epinoza, of, San Diego, in the ninth round, rising to 24-1, with his 12th knockout before his hometown crowd at the Bell Auditorium, in Augusta on Saturday night.
Espinoza lost for the second straight time to fall to 16-7-1, with five knockouts, while Whitfield won for the second consecutive time.
Antonio Escalate decisions Miguel Roman
Super bantamweight (126 pounds) prospect, Antonio Escalante, of El Paso, Tex., earned a grueling, 10-round unanimous decision over Miguel Roman of Chihuahua, Mex., dropping his rival once before his home crowd at the Don Haskins Convention Center, in El Paso, on Friday night.
"Miguel Roman gave me one of my toughest fights ever, and it was an honor sharing the ring with him," said Escalante,who won via the scores of 96-93, 96-93 and 97-92, respectively, on the cards of Raul Valencia, Gerardo Venzor, and, Levi Martinez.
"This is the type of fight I always want to give my fans and I think I showed that I'm willing to leave everything in the ring in order to get the victory," said Escalante. "Now, bring on the best in the division, because I'm ready for them."
The 24-year-old Escalante (23-2, 14 KOs) landed 318 punches, all but 18 of which were power shots, according to CompuBox, while the 24-year-old Roman (28-7, 20 KOs) landed 234 power punches among his 263 total punches that connected.
It was the ninth consecutive win for Escalante, who has five knockouts during that stretch.
"I'm proud of Antonio for his performance and the heart he showed Friday night," said Oscar De La Hoya, president of Gold Boy Promotions, which handles Escalante. "He was in there with a tough warrior in Mickey Roman, and he passed his test with flying colors. Congratulations to both men on a great and exciting fight."