Jones lined up for tilt at Hamed crown

America's Junior Jones has emerged as candidate for Prince Naseem Hamed's next featherweight title defence.

America's Junior Jones has emerged as candidate for Prince Naseem Hamed's next featherweight title defence.

Jones, a former WBO super-bantamweight champion, outpointed Tracey Harris Patterson last night to strengthen his claims for a date with the Prince in March or April.

It is a fight which is interesting Lou DiBella, the senior vice-president of cable network Home Box Office, who is beginning to plan for Hamed's next assignment.

Ideally, DiBella would like to pit Hamed with either super-bantam champion Erik Morales (WBC) or Marco Antonio Barrera (WBO) - twice a Jones victim - but negotiations are proving difficult and Jones would be ready-made, good class opposition.

Hamed-Jones should have happened in 1998, but the contract had to be torn up when Jones was beaten by Kennedy McKinney on the same night the Prince made his American debut against Kevin Kelley at Madison Square Garden.

For the moment, Hamed and HBO are reflecting on the awful wrestling match with WBC champion Cesar Soto in Detroit last month.

But DiBella still rates Hamed as the best nine-stoner in the world by some distance.

DiBella said: "Naz knows that next time he has to put on as much of a show in the ring as he does on the way to the ring.

"He knows what he has to do, and I'm comforted by the fact he has said to me personally I want the biggest fights.

"But right now, Morales' promoter Bob Arum doesn't want to talk, and I'm in conversations with Frank Warren about Barrera. He is asking for a lot of money, but we'll continue to talk.

"Jones has beaten Tom Johnson and Patterson back-to-back. And a Jones-Jamed fight is a great match-up. I'm confident Naz will come back in March or April against a very high quality opponent and I think he know what he has to do this time.

"It takes a whole lot of class for a fighter to apologise for a performance, especially when he's unified a title and I was pleased with him (Hamed) for doing that.

"It re-forced my view that he's a good kid and a good fighter. For all the criticism he gets, some of which may be deserved, he is still the best featherweight in the world and I don't think anyone's a close second."

Former WBC champion Luisito Espinosa is another opponent being mentioned for Hamed, but Di Bella adds: "Espinosa is an old fighter, he lost to Soto. And I feel that Espinosa against Hamed might be as unpleasing a match style-wise as Soto-Hamed."

Hamed has until the end of the month to decide which of his titles he keeps, the WBO or the newly-won WBC.

World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman recently extended the decision deadline to November 30.

Unfortunately, the politics of the alphabet men will not allow Hamed to retain both belts.

HBO, for their part, are not concerned either way. And titles are not necessarily their priority, as long as they screen good, appealing fights.

European heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko, brother of WBO holder Vitaly, made a successful American television debut by stopping Phil Jackson, a loser to Lennox Lewis in 1994, in the second round on Friday.

The German-based Ukranian, who won the 1996 Olympic gold medal, used a four-punch combination to complete the job after keeping the shorter Jackson on the end of his jab in the opening round.

The brothers Klitschko are big in Germany and are threatening to become major players on the heavyweight scene.

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all