Jones-Hill Preview

by Pedro Fernandez

The only question going into this matchup between Virgil Hill and HBO poster boy is can the 34 year old Hill last the 12 round distance? Let's be honest. Even though he's a psychologists nightmare, Roy Jones is one specially talented athlete.

Yeah, this is the same person who ridicules him for denying the public the chance to see Roy Jones perform against the best fighters in the world while they are at their best. This would of been a great fight three years ago in North Dakota. All of Hill's cousins would of surely packed any arena, something Roy Jones has never done as a pro.

And in 1995, Hill had a fight or two left in him. At this point, even though he's only 42-2, Virgil is passe. Jones knows this and that's why he's willing to fight him now. Virgil is a guy that Tommy Hearns handily defeated in 1991 by decision.

Hill has made a lot of money recently. Last year he fought twice in Germany. The first was against then IBF beltbearer Henry Maske whom Hill defeated via decision. For that Virgil retained the WBA diadem, added the IBF trinket, and made $2 million.

When Virgil faced WBO strongman Dariusz Michalzewski last Summer, he lost a 12 round unanimous nod to the now 33-0, 29 KO's German based Pole. Hill would pocket $3 million for that one.

This will be a non-title 12 rounder at 177 lbs. Tonight Hill makes another $2 million while Roy is said to be snagging $4 million for this HBO event. Had Jones taken care of Virgil as late as early 1997, he could of went to Germany and tripled Hill's purses.

But Roy's intestinal fortitude is not on an even keel with his boxing ability.

I look for Roy to make a statement tonight as he ascends to 30-1. The only question: Does Virgil last the route? I think not.

Pedro Fernandez

The writer has his own site at and can be reached at

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4.25.98 [Return to Top]