"I can't wait to get back out there and do something special...They can expect a more comfortable, more poised, and a more professional Mike Jones. I'm not gonna be rushing my shots. I'm gonna take my time. I gained a lot of experience during this layoff. I'm more experienced now. I have calmed down a lot. I'm not gonna move as much as I used to, but I will be more accurate and just know that I'm better...I'm excited to be back. I'm sure I will get really excited when I step in the ring," stated welterweight contender Mike Jones, who talked about his August 23 return to the ring after a 2-year layoff. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: You finally got a date to get back in the ring August 23rd. How did it feel to get that call?
MJ: It was awesome. I can't wait to get back out there and do something special.
PC: It's one thing to be in the gym staying busy, but training with no fight date at some point had to be a little discouraging.
MJ: Yeah, most definitely. You go through ups and downs in life in general. Your mood is up and then the next minute it's down, but once you get the date, you know you working towards something. Then I go into a whole different mind state when I'm training for a fight.
PC: When we last spoke, you told me something would come up soon. Were you being optimistic or did you actually see this on the horizon?
MJ: I always stay optimistic. I never knew for sure. Now that I have a date, I look to keep it going as long as I keep producing, keep winning, keep training and stay ready.
PC: A lot of people are really interested to see what's left, which is crazy because you only have one loss, but you are coming off of a 2-year layoff. What can people expect from Mike Jones in August?
MJ: They can expect a more comfortable, more poised, and a more professional Mike Jones. I'm not gonna be rushing my shots. I'm gonna take my time. I gained a lot of experience during this layoff. I'm more experienced now. I have calmed down a lot. I'm not gonna move as much as I used to, but I will be more accurate and just know that I'm better.
PC: You talked about the ups and downs, not just in boxing but in life. Did you ever anticipate this type of layoff following the Randall Bailey loss being that you weren't injured?
MJ: I never thought I would be out this long. If everything was an ideal situation for me, I would have never took this long out of the boxing ring. I wanted to get back, but everything wasn't the way I wanted it to be. Maybe it was a little bit of being hard-headed on my part. I thought I could change things that I probably couldn't because I'm still dealing with the same things, but I just had to bite the bullet and get back to work.
PC: You are still relatively young. Is the goal still to be a world champion again?
MJ: All day long. I never did this for money. I always did this because I thought I was doing a service to God by trying to make this power he gave me excellent. So I did it because I always wanted to be better every day. Most definitely a world title is what I'm aiming for. Not just a world title, but to go beyond that because they have so many belts out here now that they don't really mean anything no more because there are so many of them. It's not significant anymore like it used to be because you got a belt. It's like 50 belts in each weight class. But I want to be the one that's seen and known as the best, like an Andre Ward.
PC: You also told me making the welterweight limit won't be an issue as well. Is that still the case?
MJ: Oh, weight is not an issue. I walk around 152 pounds, so it makes no sense for me to fight at a higher weight unless there is some money being thrown at me to fight in that weight class.
PC: Not looking past Jamie Herrera, but coming off of that type of layoff, I'm sure you wanna stay busy. How many more fights would you like to have this year after your August 23rd fight?
MJ: I would like to get 2 more fights. The contract says 3 fights a year. I don't see how that's gonna happen, but I would like to do that.
PC: You seem to be in a good place, like you're rolling with the punches. Do you feel like boxing has wronged you in any kind of way?
MJ: Naw because at the end of the day, everything didn't go my way because of me. I think things would have shaped up and fell into place if I would have just stayed fighting, but I stopped fighting and producing and it is what it is; now I'm back.
PC: I asked what the fans can expect from you. What are you expecting from yourself? What are your expectations for this fight?
MJ: I just want to shake off this ring rust because I haven't been in there for awhile. I just want to get my hands moving and just get back into action. I'm not expecting a knockout or nothing like that, but I'm definitely expecting a victory because I know that's in me. I just want to get back to winning and being active again.
PC: Have you been watching a lot of boxing or completely been away from it?
MJ: No, I always watch boxing and all of the fights. I definitely seen the Crawford and Gamboa fight. That was a great fight.
PC: What are your nerves like heading into this fight? It has to be some pressure on you to look a certain way.
MJ: Not really any butterflies or anything. I'm kind of closed off to that. I'm not anxious, but I'm excited to be back. I'm sure I will get really excited when I step in the ring. I'm just prepared so I'm poised. I don't get too hyped up like that because I'm prepared to go.
PC: I look forward to seeing you back in that ring, Best of luck to you, Mike, Anything else you want to add before I let you go?
MJ: Thanks so much. Everybody tune in to my fight. I'm fighting Jamie Herrera in a 10-round fight on August 23rd. It's gonna be a great night of boxing and I'm gonna be there to put on a great show and look spectacular.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]