“We prepared for a fighter like Mike Jones, he is a tough, tough fighter,” welterweight Jaime Herrera said after his stunning upset over Mike Jones last Saturday night at Bally’s Events Center in Atlantic City, NJ. For Jones, it was a somber return to the ring after a two year layoff from a knockout loss to Randall Bailey that cost him the IBF Welterweight Championship only to return and suffer a similar fate in nearly the same round. Yet in wake of Jones’ unsuccessful return, a new face emerges in the welterweight contender picture as Jaime Herrera now will enter the mix.
In the beginning of the fight it was all Jones as he dropped Herrera with left hooks in the second and third round and it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Jones would be back on premium cable soon. Jones made mention on Thursday’s edition of ThaBoxingVoice podcast that, “If Rod Salka could get a title shot, why couldn’t I after one fight.”
“It was a mistake I made early, I put my hands down. Mike Jones is a strong guy, you look at his record, you can’t slack off with him. Any area you make a mistake he will find it. I committed some errors and he found me.” Herrera said when reflecting upon getting knocked down earlier in the fight. Herrera further explained his mind state that would not allow him to quit. “It was hunger, I just couldn’t lose,” he said as he shook his head multiple times reflecting on that very moment.
In the latter stages of the third round, Jones suffered a cut over his right eye that seemed to effect him in some capacity and dramatically altered the tide of the fight. “If I just pressured him more, I knew the body shots were starting to hit him and wear him down a little. He wasn’t as fast as in the first few rounds, and I had to take advantage of that,” Herrera said. In rounds five and six, Jones began to take a beating and seemed unable to respond as the cut over his eye worsened. The damage was accumulating. It was so bad that the doctor visited Jones in the corner between rounds six and seven to make sure he was okay to continue. He was, but barely.
The seventh round was an exact replica of the past two rounds forcing the doctor’s hand and having the fight stopped in the corner before the fight could reach the eighth round. At the time of the stoppage, Jones was ahead by one point 66-65 on all three judges scorecards though it was not that important of a factor as he was clearly absorbing punishment with an inability to give it back and things were only getting worse.
After the fight Herrera explained that, “The hunger and balls made me win this fight.” Herrera, who was largely unknown heading into this fight has now created a name for himself in some capacity as well as solidified himself as a top 20 welterweight. “I don’t want to be the same fighter I am today that I am tomorrow. I want to be a whole different fighter.” Herrera said.
On the other hand the future is a bit more cloudy for Jones. After a lengthy absence, Jones will now have had two consecutive knockout losses and time is not on his side, for Jones it simply comes down to is he willing to start all over again. “I hope he returns, Jones is a good fighter.” Herrera said.