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Mauney Shifting into High Gear

BILOXI, Miss. – J.B. Mauney knows he can do it again.

The 2013 World Champion is confident that he has another world title run in him after winning his second event of the season at the Battle at the Beau to move to No. 2 in the world standings.

The fire that was in Mauney’s eyes when he nodded for the gate before riding Percolator for an event-winning 92 points during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round was still burning long after the 8-second mark inside Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

“I have the fire in me and that is what it is all about,” Mauney said. “When you have the fire and the confidence in you, it is hard to throw a guy off.”

Mauney made a bold, extremely confident statement following his Round 2 ride on Little Bighorn for 87.25 points.

“I want to win,” Mauney said. “That is the plan. Win everything. Win bull ridings. Win the world. I want to do it all.”

Mauney was short and concise, but his determination was not to be discredited.

He also explained that he knew it was time to take his riding to the next level if he truly wants to win his second career gold buckle.

“Oh yeah,” Mauney said. “You need to ride all year long the same like it is the last one, but you come back off that break and there is only seven or eight events before the Finals and you kind of realize, ‘Hey, I better put it into gear.’”

It is now full speed ahead for the Mooresville, North Carolina, cowboy and he is showing no signs of slowing down.

Mauney earned a season-high 595 points toward the world standings by posting his second 3-for-3 showing of the year. He earned 400 for winning the event average, 100 for winning the championship round on Percolator and 95 points with his first (85.75 points on Bad Deal) and second-round rides.

He has now posted four consecutive Top-3 finishes and earned 1,725 points in four straight weeks dating back to the first half.

Mauney is riding at a 76.92 percent (10-for-13) clip since returning from his torn left ACL at the Des Moines Invitational in April.

CBS Sports Network commentator and 2002 World Finals event winner J.W. Hart said the 2015 world title race will get that much closer if Mauney continues to ride with that kind of intensity.

“I’ll tell you what, it can get real good watching from here on out,” Hart said. “We talked about it and we are starting to see a little déjà vu from 2013. He is making a little run at them and getting hot. Once you get him hot, it is going to be hard to cool him down.”

Coincidentally, the BFTS next stops in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Friday and Saturday. It was at the BOK Center two years ago that Mauney ended Bushwacker’s all-time BFTS record buckoff streak by riding Julio Moreno’s bovine athlete for 95.25 points.

The ride spearheaded Mauney’s ultimate march to his first world title and Tulsa was the first of Mauney’s five second-half victories, not including his 6-for-6 showing at the 2013 World Finals.

If Mauney can continue at his current pace, he could potentially overcome his 797.5-point deficit of world leader Joao Ricardo Vieria in two weeks in Nashville at the PBR’s final PBR Major of the season – The Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout.

Vieira, who went 1-for-3 and only earned 30 world points, patted Mauney on the back in the hallway just outside the locker room after the event.

“That was a good ride,” Vieira said earlier. “Percolator is a good bull to have.”

There was some concern over how Mauney’s torn left ACL would hold up during the stretch run to the Built Ford Tough World Finals, but Mauney made an adjustment to his knee brace thanks to Dr. Tandy Freeman and athletic trainer Rich Blyn that helped alleviate much of the pain Mauney felt at the Calgary Stampede.

“They fixed the pad on the inside of the brace and it takes all the pressure off that knee,” Mauney said. “It felt good today. In Calgary, every time I got off it was hurting really bad and I had to ice it. Since they built it, shoot, it is like nothing is hurting.”

Mauney landed on his left knee with ease following his event-winning ride before tossing his cowboy hat high in the air and shaking stock contractor Jeff Robinson’s hand.

Robinson – a North Carolina native – was just as excited for Mauney.

“He has it in his mind to win the world title, so we are good to go,” Robinson said. “As long as we can take J.B. home, we are good. That helped him get to second in the world so we are in good shape.”

Mauney isn’t paying any attention to the world standings though.

“I am not worried about them standings,” Mauney said. “The year I came back and won the world I wasn’t worried about the standings. I showed up and rode my bulls. That is what I am trying to do now. Show up, have fun and ride bulls.”

Regardless, he knows where he wants to be once the World Finals roll around.

“First,” Mauney concluded. “That is where everybody wants to be and that is where I want to be. I am going to try with everything I got. All I can do is my job and stay on my bulls and let the chips fall as they may.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

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