Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
Mike Jones put everything he had into trying to knock out Jesus Soto-Karass in the second round last November during their welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
But after Jones’ flurry of punches didn’t send Soto-Karass to the canvas, he was simply exhausted for the remainder of the 10-round fight. While he was victorious by majority decision in claiming the WBC Continental Americas, NABA, NABO and welterweight titles, several believed the outcome should have favored Soto-Karass. After all, Jones’ lethargic effort in the later rounds — the result of having tired legs — didn’t earn him any style points.
The two will meet again Saturday at Mandalay Bay on the undercard on the WBC and WBO bantamweight title fight between Fernando Montiel and challenger Nonito Donaire.
The first fight was on the undercard of a Manny Pacquiao fight, with Jones anxious to make an impression on the 70,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium.
“I wanted to put a stamp on that night and be the best one there that night and get an early stoppage,” Jones said Wednesday during a workout at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas. “I went for broke. I took a chance. It didn’t payoff for me in the end."
“All of my fundamentals and everything went out the window because I was so excited,” he said. “I wanted to do real well for the crowd. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a crowd-pleaser. That is what you are going to see every time you see a Mike Jones fight. I want to put butts in the seat. But I know there is a better way of doing it.”
So, this time around, Jones plans to be smart. His strategy is to out-box Soto-Karass, delivering a solid effort from start to finish.
“That is what we have been working on this whole camp is out-boxing this guy and moving on him,” Jones said. “I’m going to be sticking to the jab and sticking to the game plan of depositing some shots to the body every round — basically out-boxing the guy for 12 rounds, because as you saw in the first fight, he’s a tough customer and he won’t go down.”
Jones had Soto-Karass dazed and on the verge of being knocked down in that second round but could not deliver the final blow. The end result was Jones being exhausted.
Even though Jones had little energy for the rest of the fight, he said, Soto-Karass didn’t come close to hurting him. That gives him confidence for the second fight.
“He’s seen me at my worst after that second round,” Jones said. “He couldn’t stop me then, so there is nothing he is going to be able to do to me now.”
Vaughn Jackson, Jones’ trainer, said the training regimen in preparation for the rematch has included more cardio work.
“Thank God he came out victorious,” Jackson said. “We looked at that tape and there is no way in the world we’ll make the same mistakes twice. You can get us once, but you can’t get us twice.”