Nick Bellafatto speaks with USBA welterweight champion, Carson Jones about his upcoming fight against Kell Brook and much more.
Carson Jones speaks about his upcoming bout with Kell Brook of Great Britain
Interview By Nick Bellafatto
I recently spoke with current USBA welterweight champion Carson Jones (34-8-2, 24 KO’s) of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ranked #3 by the IBF, this hungry fighter who has gained stoppages in 9 of his last 10 bouts will be looking to eventually shed his USBA distinction in exchange for the IBF welterweight crown. To accomplish this, Carson must first get by undefeated IBF #4 ranked Kell Brook (27-0, 18 KO’s) on Kell’ home-turf of Sheffield, England come this July 7th.
If he is able to dispatch Brook, he will move on to meet the IBF #5 ranked Hector Saldivia where the winner of that bout will face off with the victor between current IBF 147 pound world champion Randall “The Knock-Out King” Bailey and Golden Boy fighter Devon “Alexander The Great” in Bailey’ first ever title defense which is tentatively scheduled to take place in early September. Hear what this articulate and determined young man had to say as he inches closer to his dream.
NB: Ok this is Nick Bellafatto and I’m speaking with current USBA welterweight champion Carson Jones of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ranked #3 by the IBF, Carson sports a record of 34, 8, and 2, with 24 knockouts, and come July 7th this hungry fighter will be looking to trade in that USBA distinction for a title shot at the IBF world title by way of first going through undefeated Kell Brook on Kell’ home turf of Sheffield, England. Carson welcome and thank you for sharing your time.
CJ: Thank you.
NB: First of all a report came out today that Golden Boy is working on matching up their fighter Devon Alexander with IBF champ Randall Bailey whom many thought you would be next in line to fight pending the outcome of your bout with Brook. Do you feel slighted by this maneuver, or do you think that if this potential bout goes the way of Alexander that Golden Boy & Company might either try to avoid you or just basically go around you?
CJ: Well I think everything happens for a reason. Initially we did think that me and Kell Brook was going to be for the number 1 spot, it turned out to be for the number two spot. Then I found out today that Randall Bailey and Alexander were fighting. But like I said things happen for a reason. Reason being is, you never know if Alexander beats Randall Bailey, Alexander would pay a lot more fighting Alexander than it would fighting Randall Bailey. I see good potential in that situation. So I’m just gonna to do my job on July 7th and then we’ll worry about the next fight after this.
NB: Yeah and speaking of that, with that said, you have to deal with Kell Brook first of course. How pumped are you for this fight, and tell why it doesn’t seem to phase you that you’re fighting in a major event outside the continental United States for the first time?
CJ: Yeah well of course this is pretty much the apex of my career. This is what I’ve been working for. This is the last step. I dream bigger than just Kell Brook. That’s what motivates me. But it doesn’t bother me going over there because I’m a man just like he’s a man. What it comes down to is just me and him in the ring. I don’t care where the fight is. It could be in the bottom of hell and still it’s just going to be me and him fighting. So that’s pretty much what drives me. And you know I don’t have any problems going to anybody’ home town. I’ve done it before, not overseas of course, but I’ve gone to people’s hometowns. I’ve done my job on the road and came out with the victory so I don’t think this time it’s going to be any different.
NB: You stated you make a living by knocking people out in their own backyards and that Brook will be no exception. On the other hand you have Brook saying he’s going to do the same to you while he referred to you as a quitter. Is it safe to say that this is a truly heated contest between you two?
CJ: Well it’s just, Brook is a bit of an idiot. I think he’s confused as to what he’s up against. If he literally thinks I gonna quit, I’ve never quit in my life. If I was a quitter, I have eight losses, I would have quit a long time ago. So I just think he’s in over his head and he really doesn’t know what he’s up against.
NB: I have to mention that I watched you two together at the a press conference, and picking up on his body language Kell definitely looked intimidated. Did you get that impression, and will you specifically look to exploit that once the bell rings on July 7th?
CJ: Yes that was my plan to get in his head. I wanted him riled. He says he’s rattled well that’s good. That’s what I want. You know he’s never had anybody in his face like me. Like he’s never had a live dog in his face like this. That’s just a preview of what’s to come on July 7th.
NB: What other things have you or your trainer Abel Sanchez picked up on about Kell that you might be able to take advantage of?
CJ: Well it’s not necessarily what we’ve picked up on, or what he does and all that stuff, but more what I do in a live fight. I’m going to work. If it comes to twelve rounds it’s going to go twelve rounds and I guarantee I’m going to make sure I beat on him for twelve rounds. If he can hang, then God Bless him. I don’t think he’ll be able to.
NB: The last time I spoke with you I only threw Kell Brook’ name out there as a possible future opponent as Hector Saldivia looked to be the man with whom you would have to face off with. Do you prefer to have Brook in front at this juncture being that he’s the bigger name anyway?
CJ: Yes. Brook will propel my career much more than Saldivia will. I’m going to have to meet Saldivia next but this will definitely put me in a better position that Saldivia would fighting him at this juncture.
NB: So are you saying you may have to face Saldivia before you actually get a shot at the winner of [Bailey-Alexander]?
CJ: Yes. The IBF actually ordered me and Kell Brook for the number two position. And the winner of me and Kell Brook will have to face Hector Saldivia after this.
NB: Oh I see. That explains a lot. OK. Does that kind of put you off seeing how you were seemingly next in line to face the winner of Bailey-Alexander?
CJ: No it just means another fight and more money.
NB: With Kell talking knockout, I really don’t see him as having all that much power against upper echelon fighters which he really hasn’t fought anyway. The only recognizable names on his resume are Lovemore Ndou and Matthew Hatton who are really B level fighters at best, both of whom went the distance with Kell. Do you think his bravado is either intended to get you out of your game plan, or that he’s trying to get under your skin? And if he does come forward do you consider that a mistake?
CJ: I consider that a huge mistake. That’s not his game. His game is to stay on the outside. Even if he does [inaudible] because I’m gonna walk him down, I’m gonna put pressure on him. As you know he fought Lovemore Ndou who I believe that guy is 39 years old, a natural 140 pounder. And he had a little bit of trouble with him. Lovemore was catching him with some good shots that just like if I catch him with the same shots he’s not going to be able to hold up.
NB: Again Kell doesn’t look to be a big puncher but rather like you said he’s a boxer that probably needs to stay on the outside. Even though you’re with Able Sanchez who’s helped to refine you into a more complete fighter as opposed to the straight forward come at you type slugger you once were, do you think it’s best to just go at Brook and dispense with the subtleties, or do you feel that a more varied plan of attack might be necessary?
CJ: Well, I just do what I do. I don’t change anything for a specific fighter. Of course he’s a boxer mover so if he sticks to what he does best you know it will probably take a little bit longer. But what I’m gonna do is pretty much walk him down and fight like I always fight. Break him down from round one. If I start doing what I need to do from round one and beating on his body and beating on his arms and you know keep pretty much breaking him down, he won’t last that long.
NB: Being that the bout is not only in his home country but it’s in his hometown of Sheffield, do you feel that it’s absolutely necessary to stop Brook within the distance? Or do you feel that you might have to go out of your way to get the knockout?
CJ: Well I don’t see any point of ruining my knockout streak. But I think I’ll go from there. I don’t necessarily look for the knockout, it just comes. And I don’t see any reason to change anything. We have neutral judges. Two of the judges are from here in the U.S., so I’m hoping that if it comes to a decision that I wouldn’t get robbed. But you never know.
NB: You said two of the judges are from the United States. Do you have any names of the judges actually?
CJ: I’m not sure.
NB: Looking at your record and those eight losses you’ve had in the past to not the best opposition, some might feel that your meat for Brook who is undefeated. On the other hand you’re on a hot streak stopping nine out of ten or your last opponents. Would you say those previous losses have prepared you for success at that the next level while maybe Kell’ record is more indicative of him not being battle tested?
CJ: Yes. I’ve said before you learn more when you lose than you when you win. I fought the tougher guys out there. Kell has fought hand-picked opponents where he really couldn’t learn. They weren’t learning experiences. I’ve learned the hard way. I got those eight losses and I’m seasoned. I’m young and I think that’s to my benefit that I learned everything early. Now I’m like a young seasoned veteran.
NB: Tell me why the Carson Jones of today is not only going to get past Kell Brook, but eventually capture the IBF title?
CJ: Because this is what I want. I want it more than anybody else. I’ve had nothing given to me. I worked my ass off for ten years since I started boxing to get to this point and I’m not going to let anybody stop me.
NB: You know again I have to ask you, your fighting in Kell’ backyard at the Motor Point Arena where there is sure to be a sellout crowd of some 13,000 boisterous British fans. Have you done anything out of the ordinary in training camp to prepare you for that type of atmosphere? And let me give you an example like Lucian Bute of course had loud speakers in his camp to mimic what he thought he might be exposed to when he fought Carl Froch. Any type of that stuff?
CJ: That just sounds stupid to me.[Laughs] I can’t believe he did that but no I don’t do anything like that. I mean I’ve been doing this too long to get nervous, to be worried about the crowd. Like I said it’s just me and him. So I’m not worried about the crowd, I’m not worried about anything else but beating Kell Brook.
NB: You’ve been training with Abel Sanchez and you mentioned this before, [that] he’s has taught you many things. But he’s taught you to not worry about what your opponent is doing but rather to more concentrate on what Carson Jones is doing. Assuming that’s going to be the case when you fight Brook, does that mean you’re not going to be looking to counter or try to feel him out, but you are just more intent on taking the fight to him.?
CJ: I gonna do what I do. That’s all I’m gonna say. Whatever that maybe. If I see an opening to counter, I’m gonna counter. I’m just going to use everything in my repertoire to beat Kell.
NB: You do have a slight reach advantage. Is that something you might use to try to lure Kell in a bit?
CJ: Yeah I plan on throwing a little bit more straight punches in the fight.
NB: You spar with Genaddy Golovkin most of the time. Did you spar with him in preparation for Brook, or who else did you bring into training camp for sparring purposes?
CJ: I got a couple guys here. Gannady’ here of course. He’s always up here. He’s getting ready to fight Dmitry Pirog. We had Abel Perry. A guy named Russ [inaudible]. We got a couple guys. Actually one of the younger guys Jose Benavidez was down here the other day. We worked with him. He’s good. He’s has long arms, he moves. So we’ve been getting a lot of different looks. I’ve had a lot of good sparring
NB: Despite all the talk, Brook has definitely recognized you as a step in competition so he’s going to try to bring his A game being that this is an IBF title eliminator. Even though Randall Bailey or Devon Alexander should be waiting in the wings, [even though] you still mentioned you have to go through Hector Saldivia, you commented on Amir Khan. What are your impressions of him, and how do you think he’ll fare against Danny Garcia on July 14th?
CJ: I think Danny Garcia is a little bit too young right now. Not necessarily just young in age but just young in experience. You just can’t jump in. They should have let him get a few of wins under his belt [inaudible] first before going in there with Amir. I think Amir’ gonna beat him pretty easily. But I’m not sure if it will be a knockout or a decision, but he’ll beat him pretty easy.
NB: Who do you favor in the Alexander-Bailey fight and who would you prefer to fight when it comes down to it?
CJ: Well I guess I prefer to fight Bailey. [As to the fight] I would have to go with Alexander. But if Bailey could land that monster that he has in that right hand, then anybody could go down. So I give it to Devon. [inaudible]
NB: I believe your fight with Brook is going to be televised on Sky Sports. Do you know about that?
CJ: Yeah, yeah.
NB: It is on Sky. Are any other network providers carrying this fight to your knowledge?
CJ: No not that I know of. I’m not sure. I think they’re talking about maybe ESPN3, but I’m not quite sure yet.
NB: Yeah because they keep you on these little channels. Do you think they’re trying to hide Carson Jones somewhere?
CJ: Before long there’s not going to be no hiding. I’ve been sneaking up everybody for the past few years so I don’t think there’s going to be any hiding after this.
NB: Oh that sounds good. Yeah, I look forward to seeing you. I’m going to have to tune in. There’s another big fight going down there on the same day, the Donaire fight. Carson I wish you the best of luck in crossing the pond there , but before we wrap up what would you like to say to fight fans who will either tune in to watch you, or to those that support you?
CJ: I just thank everybody for their support whether it be foreign or domestic. I just plan to put on a good show and come out with the victory on July 7th.
NB: That’s a rap man. I appreciate your time man.
CJ: Alright bro.