Junior Jones speaks out before title fight.
Ike catches up with Brooklyn's native, former two-time world champion,
"Poision" Junior Jones now (47-4) with 27 knockouts. Jones won the New
York Golden Gloves in 1987 & 88 before making his professional debut
in June 1989. He captured the WBA Banatamweight championship October
23, 1993 when he scored a 12 rounds decision over Jorge Julio. In
March 1996, he added the IBC super Banatamweight title and seized the
WBO Junior featherweight laurel eight month later, November 22, 1996,
"Poision" Jones became the WBO champion when he blew away former champ,
Marco Antonio Barrera in the fifth round. Rematched Barrera on April
18, 1997 and won a 12 round unanimious decision. He lost the WBO belt
to Kennedy Mckinney with a fourth round knockout, on september 12,
1998, he suffered a fourth round stoppage by Erik Morales. In his most
recent fight November 1999, Jones won a 10 round unanimious decision
against Tracy Patterson. Now see what "Poision" has to say about his
upcoming fight against IBF featherweight champion, Paul Ingle on April
29, 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York, as he speaks to Ike on
phone from his Long Island, New York home.
Interview by: Ike Enwereuzor
Ike: Hello Junior! Thank you for taking out time from your busy schedule and
giving us this opporunity to speak with you before your April 29 clash
with IBF featherweight champ, Paul Ingle. How is training coming along?
Jones: My training was superb, I had a great training camp at Rocky Marcino center
in New Jersey.
Ike: Who were your sparring partners over there?
Jones: I can't remember their name, I was sparring with some bigger guys 140 pounds
and above. I know I'm more than hundred percent ready.
Ike: Being that you're originally from Brooklyn, NY where "Iron" Mike Tyson came
from, did Tyson inspire you to become a fighter?
Jones: No, I never liked boxing, I just got into it due to my elder sister, Ronnie,
who use to beat me up a lot then I had to the gym to learn to box. I began
boxing at the NYC PAL, by the time I get back from the gym, I would be so
Ike: So, when did you have your first amateur bout?
Jones: I started in 1981 when I was a about 60-pounds, I had to fight bigger guys
70 pounds and more, I didn't care. I won the New York Golden Gloves 1987 &
88, National Golden Gloves 1987, three-time, junior Olympic champion and
captured the Empire State Championships three times.
Ike: What's your impression of former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson?
Jones: Mike's still a very good fighter, I think those who critize him are being
hypocritical. Tyson has a chance to become a world champion again.
Ike: Your thoughts of former world champ, Riddick Bowe?
Jones: I came up the same time Bowe did, Bowe's the best 175 pounds fighter I ever
seen in my entire life. He was a very strong puncher.
Ike: Do you think Roy Jones would have a chance against him then?
Jones: I don't think Roy would have a chance against Bowe then. Roy's still one
of the best fighters today.
Ike: How prepared are you for this fight with Ingle, April 29, at the Garden?
Jones: Like I said, I'm more than ready, I'm more than 100% ready for Paul Ingle.
I take this fight very seriously and I'm prepared for it. I'll be bringing
it home again, the 6th time, I win a world title. I have won the WBA, WBO,
IBO, IBC & IBA, now I'm going to add the IBF. I want my fans to come to the
Garden, don't watch on TV, be there Live at the Madison. There will be an
after fight party for me at Lounger Cafe, at E. Houseton, NYC.
Ike: What's your impression of Paul Ingle?
Jones: For what I see, he's not a world class fighter, I respect him as a champion,
he's a good fighter but not at my level yet. I know he comes to fight, he
tries to stay tough but I'll beat him on April 29. If I do everything right,
I don't see this fight go pass the 8th round. I'll try to stay calm, be
patient and I know I got the rough power and it will be too much for Paul
Ike: What are your career plans after you pass by Paul Ingle on April 29?
Jones: After this fight is over, I'll be holding the IBF belt, we're going to
celebrate at the Lounger Cafe that night, then go home to relax few days,
get ready to fight anyone who wants to fight even Prince Naseem is on our
list. I think we should be fighting Prince in August in the Fresh Meadow,
New York. HBO wants the fight and also, the fans want it so bad.
Ike: What happened to your March fight with Naseem in which Bungu became a late
Jones: Apprently, Prince people didn't want to fight us, they late the contact
late, lots of confusion, giving us note notice to return the contract etc.
If they wanted to fight me, he would have, he just wanted to look good for
HBO, because he didn't look good at the bout (against Soto) before, I knew
he could look good with Bungu not me. He didn't want me, he knows, I'm a
big puncher and taller, he's about 5-3 and I'm 5-8. Prince, knew he will
look bad against me. Junior Jones is the best pound for pound fighter in
my weight division. I only lost four fights which nobody beat me, I beat
Ike: How would you describe your fight with Erik Morales?
Jones: I took that fight for the wrong reasons, I had just lost my WBO to Kennedy
Mckinney, so I thought I could make up by beating Morales but I had a bad
right shoulder. In fact, I wasn't hundred percent, if that was now that
I'm 100%, I'll beat that guy. I'm not giving exuses.
Ike: What was your thoughts of Naseem-Ingle bout last year?
Jones: I was on the same card, Paul fought a close fight but, Naseem made him to
look good, Prince made mistakes he shouldn't have and it made Ingle look
better than he was.
Ike: Who are your favorite fighters?
Jones: I'll say Prince Naseem, (he laughts), Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones jr.,
Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and so many other fighters.
Ike: What do you wish to accomplish as a boxer?
Jones: I've achieved all my goals, money, fame, happy family. I've a wonderful
wife, Yvonne whom without her I couldn't achieve half of what I have done
today. She made sure I was at where I'm suppose to be and not getting into
any BS. I aslo have 3 beautiful kids, two girls and a boy and a grand
Ike: How would you decribe your last performance last November (against Tracy
Jones: It was a smart fight, I fought well and just boxed, Patterson to show my
fans that I can box, I didn't try to knock him out.
Ike: How did you get your ring name "Poison"?
Jones: My amateur trainer gave me that name, he use to tell me that I would
knockout opponents like poison.
Ike: What are your hobbies when not in the ring?
Jones: I like Basketball, New York Knicks is my favorite team and I listen to
music, a little rap, R & B, soul and Jazz.
Ike: What would you like to tell your fans out there?
Jones: My fans will see the Junior Jones they haven't seen for some time now,
they gonna see some rough power in the ring. They should come to the Garden
to see this one. I'm gonna bring it home once again.
Ike: What did you think of the Fernando Vargas-Ike Quartey bout?
Jones: Vargas showed he's a better fighter than what people thought of him to
have beaten Ghanaian Ike Quartey so easy.
Ike: What's your prediction for the Oscar De La Hoya-Shane Mosley clash?
Jones: It's a good fight but I think Oscar is gonna beat him up. Oscar is a bigger
welterweight, real comfortable at that weight as he has been fighting at
147 pounds. Oscar is a bigger puncher.
Ike: Your thoughts on the Lewis-Grant bout?
Jones: This is the biggest, two big giants, good fight but I think Lennox Lewis
Ike: How about a Trinidad-Vargas?
Jones: Two different stlyes, Trinidad is a pure puncher, he may go down but gets
up and fight, has good chin. I gotta wait to see that one.
Ike: Thanks again for giving us your time, Junior.