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Thread: Stubborn Jones Still Believes

  1. #1
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    Roy Jones Jr.

    Before he fades from view, Roy Jones Jr. will fight in Philly
    By BERNARD FERNANDEZ
    from Philly.com

    Even his most ardent admirers would not dispute that Roy Jones Jr.'s boxing prime is in his rearview mirror. But Jones, who had perhaps more natural talent than any fighter of the last 25 years, still has something the up-and-comers of the sport don't: name recognition.

    The 37-year-old Jones (50-4, 38 KOs) will defend his virtually worthless NABO light-heavyweight title against Puerto Rico's Manny Siaca (20-6, 18 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round, pay-per-view bout Dec. 9 at the Liacouras Center, but it matters little whether some shiny trinket is at stake.

    What does matter, at least to fight fans who prefer to see legends of the sport up close and personal, is that a future Hall of Famer will perform live in Philly.

    Although Philadelphia has retained much of its reputation as producing more quality fighters than any other town, the reality is that best must go elsewhere to find superstardom.

    Since prevailing economic conditions (i.e., casinos in Atlantic City) forced promoter J Russell Peltz to shut down his operation at the Spectrum in February 1980, the number of internationally known fighters who have appeared here can be counted on one hand.

    Olympic gold medalist and Nicetown product Meldrick Taylor fought twice in his hometown as a pro.

    As a 22-year-old IBF junior welterweight champion, Taylor stopped Jaime Balboa in five rounds in a non-title bout on Nov. 20, 1989, at the Civic Center. He also retained his WBA welterweight title on a unanimous, 12-round decision over Glenwood "The Real Beast" Brown on Jan. 18, 1992, also at the Civic Center.

    IBF lightweight champ Shane Mosley, 26, and future WBA super welterweight titlist David Reid, 24, appeared in separate bouts on June 27, 1998, at the Apollo of Temple, now the Liacouras Center. Mosley starched Wilfredo Ruiz in five rounds, and Reid took out Simon Brown in four.

    Undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins fulfilled a promise to himself when he defended his title on an eight-round technical decision over frightened Frenchman Morrade Hakkar on March 29, 2003, at the Spectrum.

    But the closest parallel to the fading Jones' impending visit is the Dec. 16, 1995, bout at the Spectrum in which Mike Tyson, only 28 but already in decline, knocked out Buster Mathis Jr. in three rounds.

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    Re: Before he fades from view, Roy Jones Jr. will fight in Philly

    I've always been a big supporter of Jones, but this is just nonsense as is any other bout he chooses to take at this point. Even though he could probably still beat about all the light heavyweights out there, he simply just needs to retire already!

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    Re: Before he fades from view, Roy Jones Jr. will fight in Philly

    Sorry but I think he faded from view about 3 fights ago.

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    Re: Before he fades from view, Roy Jones Jr. will fight in Philly

    How about
    Roy "the boxer formerly known as Roy Jones Jr" Jones Jr

  5. #5

    Does Roy Jones have any chance of beating Hopkins?

    Rumor is Roy Jones will take on Bernard Hopkins in July. Do you think Roy has any shot at being hopkins? I think Hopkins type of style because he is more of a counterpuncher type fighter ,and overly cautious at times ,i think his style could give Roy a chance of staying in the fight and possibly pulling off the victory. The type of style Roy needs to avoid now are aggressive fighters that come out 1st round and put the pressure on him. Getting him against the ropes from the very 1st round. His legs are not what they were in his prime. I think he could steal rounds from Hopkins because he has gotten off to slow starts in the past ,and is looking to pace himself a lot in fights. Unlike a guy like Glen Johnson.

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    Re: Does Roy Jones have any chance of beating Hopkins?

    Jones even in his prime was overrated. I see an easy win for Hopkins.

  7. #7

    Re: Does Roy Jones have any chance of beating Hopkins?

    You think he was overated in his prime? He beat Hopkins and Toney pretty easy back in 93 and 94 ,and knocked out Montell Griffin with 1 shot. Griffin beat James Toney (Twice)

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    Re: Does Roy Jones have any chance of beating Hopkins?

    RJJ may not be what he was but I think he will still take BHop.

    BHop does not fight a quick enough pace anymore to take RJJ out of his game & the worst thing you can give any version of RJJ is time to think. BHop will still have problems with RJJs speed as he did years ago.

    This fight will be almost as boring as the first one.

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    Re: Does Roy Jones have any chance of beating Hopkins?

    Definetely not getting this one on the PPV.

    But I'll say Hopkins wins this. For the simple fact that he's going to take the fight seriously. I think Jones will show up, be flashy in spots, and collect his paycheck.

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    Jones might get called up to the 'Show' & Quick Hits by Dan Rafael

    Jones might get called up to the 'Show'

    By Dan Rafael
    ESPN.com
    Archive


    AROUND THE RING
    It's Showtime for Jones

    Former pound-for-pound king Roy Jones Jr. flirted with Showtime early last year, but they never went on a date. Now, they're smitten again, and this time the relationship appears as though it will be consummated.

    The former four-division champion is close to signing a deal that would see him make his Showtime debut against Tony Hanshaw in a light heavyweight fight June 9 at a site to be determined.

    Lou DiBella, serving as Jones' promoter, has reached an agreement with Hanshaw promoter Gary Shaw, and they have also made a deal with Showtime. Hanshaw manager and trainer John Russell said they're excited about the opportunity to face the future Hall of Famer, but the ball is in Jones' court.

    "Roy has given me a verbal 'OK.' It's basically done," DiBella told ESPN.com, though he admitted he won't believe it until Jones signs. "I think it's an interesting fight. I'm more interested in seeing an older guy fight a young, hungry guy than in seeing two older guys fight."

    Jones, 38, is known for his unpredictability, and there's never a deal with him until it's signed. Showtime boxing boss Ken Hershman is hopeful it will get done.

    "I go by what Lou tells me, so we are drafting the contract as we speak," Hershman said. "I'm thrilled. I think it's great. It's nice to see another graduate of 'ShoBox' get a big fight and fulfill the mission of that [prospect-oriented] show. We'll see what Roy has left in his arsenal.

    "My deal with the promoters is done and we are moving forward. I have been reassured every step of the way that it's done. If that turns out not to be the case, Roy can go do what he does forevermore. You get one chance to burn me and that's it."

    Jones (50-4, 38 KOs) hasn't fought since August, when he won a lopsided decision against Badi Ajamu to end a three-fight losing streak, which included brutal knockouts to Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson.

    "I think if Roy can't beat Hanshaw, it's time to say goodbye," DiBella said. "Hanshaw is a young guy who has earned his contender status, but if Roy is still an elite fighter, he beats him and moves on to a very big fight. Having the opportunity to fight in front of national TV audience is something Roy needs right now. He doesn't need to be on another small pay-per-view show that nobody sees" like the Ajamu fight.

    Hanshaw (21-0-1, 14 KOs) was a standout amateur before turning pro in 2000, but his career went cold when he took two years off until returning in mid-2006. He signed with Shaw and has gone 3-0-1. The blemish came in January, when he and Jean Paul Mendy battled to a 12-round split draw in the final of Showtime's "ShoBox" super middleweight tournament.

    Even a diminished Jones figures to be a major step up for Hanshaw.

    "I'm excited that Roy is up for the challenge," Shaw said. "It speaks a lot about Roy that he is willing to take on a young guy."

    Hanshaw, 29, will move from 168 pounds to 175 for Jones, but Russell, best known for training and managing former heavyweight champ Buster Douglas, is not sure Jones will sign for the fight.

    Russell knows just how difficult it can be to finalize a fight with him. Douglas had signed to fight him in 1998 in what was supposed to be Jones' heavyweight debut, but Jones backed out.

    Russell said the nasty cut Hanshaw suffered near his right eye against Mendy was fine.

    "It was a bad cut, but if the fight happens, Tony will be just fine," Russell said. "Roy Jones is a great fighter. I'm a fan. But if the fight happens, we'll be there. We're at the stage now where we are ready to make a move and hopefully we'll get that fight together. I have lot of confidence in Tony."

    If Jones takes the fight, he would go up against his old network. HBO PPV has a major fight between welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto and Zab Judah the same night.

    Jones, of course, was the face of HBO for a decade before they parted ways (and Jones was fired from his broadcasting role) following his loss to Tarver in their October 2005 rubber match.

    A victory against Hanshaw could pave the way for a fall fight with middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, who would come up in weight.

    "If Roy wins, then obviously Jermain is a possibility," said DiBella, also Taylor's promoter. Other possible fights for Jones would be against the winner of the July 21 Bernard Hopkins-Winky Wright light heavyweight title fight or the winner of the April 7 Joe Calzaghe-Peter Manfredo super middleweight title fight.

    "There are whole bunch of possibilities for Roy, but he has to shine against Hanshaw," DiBella said.

    By scheduling a fight June 9, Showtime is eschewing its promise of scheduling "Showtime Championship Boxing" only on the first Saturday of each month. Instead, the network pushed boxing to June 9 and will air an hour of mixed martial arts bouts June 2 as a lead into an MMA pay-per-view event the same night.

    QUICK HITS:

    • Besides Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather and the junior featherweight title eliminator between Rey Bautista and Sergio Manuel Medina, Golden Boy is close to finalizing the third bout for the May 5 HBO PPV broadcast: Rocky Juarez vs. Jose Hernandez in a featherweight bout. Juarez (26-3, 19 KOs), who lost twice last year in junior lightweight championship fights to Marco Antonio Barrera but rebounded by knocking out Emmanuel Lucero in December, will return to featherweight for the bout. Hernandez (22-3, 14 KOs) is coming off a stirring HBO-televised comeback victory in December. He was trailing badly against prospect Jason Litzau before rallying for an out-of-nowhere knockout in the eighth round.


    Cazares


    • De La Hoya's junior middleweight title defense against Mayweather won't be the only championship fight Golden Boy will promote at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the first weekend in May. On May 4, junior flyweight champion Hugo Cazares (24-3-1, 18 KOs) of Mexico will defend his title against Colombian mandatory challenger Wilfrido Valdez Perez (23-1-3, 16 KOs) in a Telefutura main event. The deal isn't done yet, but it looks good. "It's in the works and we're going back and forth on the money with Perez," Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez told ESPN.com. "We're hoping we can get the contract signed."

    • Former light heavyweight champions Glen Johnson and Montell Griffin hook up May 16 on ESPN2's "Wednesday Night Fights" in Hollywood, Fla., in an elimination bout. "The contracts are signed," said Johnson promoter Leon Margules of Seminole Warriors Boxing. Johnson had hoped to face another former champion, Julio Gonzalez, in an eliminator, but because titlist Clinton Woods' mandatory defense being due, and Gonzalez is ranked higher by the IBF, Gonzalez is going directly to a title bout with Woods. That left Johnson (44-11-2, 29 KOs) to face Griffin (48-6, 30 KOs), the next highest available contender. If Johnson wins, he'll become the mandatory challenger for the Woods-Gonzalez II winner. If Griffin wins, he will be ranked No. 1 but still might have to fight another eliminator to get a title shot. "It's a great opportunity for both guys," Griffin promoter Joe DeGuardia said. "I was surprised they hadn't fought each other before since they both have fought everybody else in the division. It's fitting they're fighting each other now for high stakes."


    Wlodarczyk



    Cunningham


    • Promoters Seminole Warriors Boxing and Don King avoided a purse bid by reaching an agreement this week for the mandatory rematch between cruiserweight beltholder Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (37-1, 27 KOs) of Poland and Philadelphia's Steve Cunningham (19-1, 10 KOs). Warriors plans to stage the fight May 26 in Warsaw, which doesn't sit well with Cunningham, who felt he was treated unfairly in their first fight. Wlodarczyk won a vacant belt on a controversial split decision Nov. 25 in Warsaw. Cunningham appealed to the IBF for a rematch, which was granted, even though he will now have to return to Warsaw. "Although it is my preference to fight in a neutral county, I am excited about the opportunity for the rematch," Cunningham said. "What happened in November is over and done with. I will leave no doubt in anyone's mind for this fight as I will dominate from the opening bell until my hand is raised and I bring back that belt, that is mine to begin with."


    Karmazin


    • King also cut a deal this week with promoter Joe DeGuardia to avoid a purse bid for the junior middleweight title eliminator between Roman Karmazin (King's fighter) and Terrence Cauthen (32-3, 9 KOs). The winner will become the mandatory challenger for the title held by Cory Spinks. No date is set, but DeGuardia told ESPN.com that it could be April 28 on the Acelino Freitas-Juan Diaz card, which King is co-promoting, or on the May 19 Jermain Taylor-Spinks undercard. King has Spinks and possibly could squeeze a bout onto the show. If Karmazin (35-2-1, 22 KOs) beats Cauthen, he would earn a rematch with Spinks, who defeated him for the belt last summer.


    Byrd


    • Former heavyweight titlist Chris Byrd (39-3-1, 20 KOs), idle since losing his belt via a bloody seventh-round knockout to Wladimir Klitschko last April, returns to face Paul Marinaccio (22-2-2, 9 KOs) in the Bahamas on April 18 (ESPN2). Byrd elected to remain at heavyweight when there was no network interest in him dropping to cruiserweight to challenge for a title. Marinaccio, 39, is a southpaw like Byrd and was stopped in the seventh round by Timor Ibragimov in 2005 in his only notable fight.

    • Prospect James McGirt Jr. (14-0, 8 KOs), son of former champion and noted trainer Buddy McGirt, announced that he will move up from middleweight to super middleweight. At 6-foot-1, McGirt, 24, said it he could no longer make 160 pounds. "It's gone beyond him struggling to lose weight," manager Dennis Witherow said. "It's become an impossibility when there's nothing to lose. His next fight [May 2] will be at (165). It's absolutely the right thing to do."

    • Condolences to Hall of Fame trainer and HBO broadcaster Emanuel Steward, whose younger brother, James Steward, died March 24 after a battle with lung cancer at age 53. James Steward, who lived with his brother in Detroit, was an amateur fighter like his brother and won Golden Gloves championships in Detroit in 1971 and 1972. A memorial service celebrating his life is scheduled for Saturday in Detroit.

    QUOTABLE
    "I have no pressure on me. I'm going to get booed, you know, probably in the beginning. I think by the end of the night though, I think I'm going to turn the crowd over, kind of like Rocky going to Russia. But it's kind of cool. I've got no pressure on me going there fighting the world champion, who's expected to kill me. I've got a lot of surprises for a lot of people that night."
    -- Peter Manfredo Jr., predicting success when he travels to Cardiff, Wales, to challenge heavily favored super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe April 7 (HBO) in front of more than 35,000 Calzaghe fans

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    Re: Jones might get called up to the 'Show' & Quick Hits by Dan Rafael

    I do not care for Dan Rafael.
    He really would be more in his element covering fast food than professional boxing, and that is a fact.

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    Swatches of Ring Roy-alty by Bernard Fernandez

    Swatches of Ring Roy-alty
    By Bernard Fernandez from Max Boxing


    What they remember is not so much the entirety of Roy Jones Jr.’s crazy-quilt career as the swatches of brilliance boxing’s most gifted and perplexing performer produced with random suddenness.

    Consider the burst of eight left hooks he delivered in his June 24, 1995, bout against Vinny Pazienza in Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, a one-handed combination so blurringly quick and accurate it stunned even those who had come to expect uncommon feats from the enigmatic Floridian.

    It was an expression of creativity akin to a musical genius who spontaneously reproduces the rhythm in his head only he can hear. Think Miles Davis at the Newport Jazz Festival, Ray Charles at the Apollo, Count Basie at Carnegie Hall.

    “George Foreman (who did color commentary for Jones-Pazienza) told me after that fight that Roy fights like a great jazzman plays,” says Seth Abraham, former president of HBO Sports. “He improvises. He does riffs.

    “I thought that was such an insightful way to describe Roy Jones. George said, `Seth, I’ve never seen anyone throw eight hooks in a row like that. I’ve never seen anything remotely close to that.’

    “And that wasn’t the only such conversation George and I had about Roy. George told me something later, not at that fight. We were talking one night and he said, `You have to understand something about Roy. The better he is at his craft, the less people understand it because he breaks the mould.’”

    Lou DiBella, then the senior vice president of HBO Sports, remembers Jones’ staccato sequence of hooks to Pazienza’s reddening face as vividly as does Abraham.

    “Unforgettable,” DiBella says, savoring the memory as if it were a cherished heirloom. “There’s not another fighter who has ever lived who would have even tried that, much less pulled it off. Every one of those eight hooks connected! To throw those punches with that kind of speed and precision … it was ungodly.”

    But while those swatches will forever be luxuriant, the quilt of Jones’ career, fading and frayed in other areas, may be ready for storage in the dusty bin of boxing history. With his inexplicable decision to back out of a proposed June 2 light heavyweight bout with Anthony Hanshaw (21-0-1, 14 KOs), who would scarcely have qualified as a light snack for Jones (50-4, 38 KOs) not so very long ago, there is a growing suspicion that the 38-year-old icon already has packed it in. Unless Jones modifies his always outlandish financial demands, there is a very good possibility that his 12-round, unanimous decision over a B-level fighter, Prince Badi Ajamu, last July 29 -- in Boise, Idaho, of all places -- will stand as his ring farewell.

    “There might be some rogue promoter someplace who could say, `To get Roy Jones, I’d let him bring his own opponent,’” says longtime HBO color analyst Larry Merchant, who has sparred with Jones in his own way over the years. “Will somebody pay him what he wants to see if he has anything left? You never know. It all depends on how desperate he is for money and attention. I’ve heard he had significant losses in investments he made in the hip-hop industry.

    “Then again, maybe this is his way of retiring. He gets close to the fire, then pulls out before he gets burned.”

    Hanshaw and his promoter, Gary Shaw, aren’t the only ones to have erred in recent months by trusting that Jones was sincere in his stated desire to return to work. On Halloween, Jones traveled to Philadelphia to appear at a press conference at which he announced he would defend his lightly regarded NABO light heavyweight title against journeyman Manny Siaca on Dec. 9 at the Liacouras Center, on the campus of Temple University.

    Less than a week later, the fight was called off after Jones sought to renegotiate terms of the deal he had previously accepted. Trick or treat, suckers.

    Asked where Jones goes now, DiBella, who had bargained in good faith with Shaw to make the Jones-Hanshaw match that now has gone the way of Jones-Siaca, said he couldn’t be sure.

    “Ultimately, it’s going to be up to Roy,” DiBella says. “I don’t know. It’s going to be very hard. He’s burned a lot of bridges. He burned Comcast (which was to have provided financial backing for the bout with Siaca). He’s burned everybody now.”

    DiBella also must be feeling a bit charred around the edges, and not just because of this latest misadventure involving his old debating rival. The two strong-willed men have long had an uneasy relationship, dating back to DiBella’s tenure with HBO when he and Jones frequently, and loudly, agreed to disagree.

    “We battled like cats and dogs,” DiBella recalls. “I disapproved of a lot of the decisions Roy made, but the one thing we were always able to do was sit in a room and argue like men. Even though we had a tumultuous relationship, it was a relationship that was grounded in respect. I never lied to him about how I felt, he never lied to me about how he felt, even when it was derogatory toward me. We went at it, then were able to walk out of the room and not hate each other.”

    That grudging sense of respect forged over time prompted DiBella to try to make a specific bout for Jones in the aftermath of the Siaca fiasco.

    “It was inaccurately reported that I had signed Roy Jones to a long-term promotional contract, but I signed him for the express purpose of facilitating a rematch with Bernard Hopkins,” DiBella says. “When the Hopkins fight didn’t happen, I offered my services to see if I could get him on one of the networks. Then, when he cut off his nose to spite his face, I just basically said, `Enough, Roy. I can’t save you from yourself.’”

    For years there have been rumors that Jones and Hopkins (47-4-1, 32 KOs) would reprise their bout of May 22, 1993, in which Jones won the vacant IBF middleweight championship by unanimous decision in Washington’s RFK Stadium. But Hopkins, 42, has an ego as colossal as Jones’, and the two sides never could agree on an equitable split of what would have been a very substantial financial pie.

    Even years past what should have been its expiration date, DiBella says Jones-Hopkins II would have given each fighter a handsome payday.

    “We’re a dying business and the old men are hanging on because they’re the only recognizable names,” DiBella says. “They’re getting more and more opportunities to beat themselves into oblivion.

    “Now, Bernard Hopkins is a freak of nature. His defense is so good that he’s never really sustained any serious injuries. His body is such a marvelous instrument that he’s in a different category.

    “The sad thing is, that (rematch) could have and should have been made. Hopkins stated publicly he would accept a 50-50 split, but that wasn’t really the case. He offered Roy a 67.5-32.5 which, of course, Roy rejected.

    “If only they had enough sense to go to 55-45 (for Hopkins), I could have closed the deal. Bernard would have beaten Roy, avenged that 1993 loss and made more money than he will for fighting Winky Wright (on July 21) in one of the worst matchups, style-wise, in the history of boxing. Bernard will beat Winky, but it could be vile.”

    So it was on to another fool’s errand for DiBella, who figured – incorrectly – that even a diminished Jones could not reject Hanshaw, whose limitations are reminiscent of the cops and schoolteachers Jones used to thump when he had his unprecedented sweetheart arrangement with HBO.

    “I hand-picked Anthony Hanshaw for Roy because Hanshaw can’t fight,” DiBella says. “I orchestrated everything for him and then he blew it.”

    So why did Jones torpedo another proposed bout that had progressed to the brink of signed contracts?

    “Money. Pride,” DiBella reasons. “He’s also supposedly got a thing about Showtime and Shaw, but I don’t buy that. None of that should have given Anthony Hanshaw any advantage over Roy Jones.”

    Critics of Jones, or at least of Jones’ curious decision-making, say his recent spate of false starts and stops is in keeping with his “Reluctant Roy” reputation. He is forever an enigma wrapped in a riddle, a prince of pugilism whose dedication to the sport frequently has been called into question.

    Some blame Jones’ fear of ending up like his friend, former WBC middleweight champion Gerald McClellan, who will spend the rest of his life in darkness after a Feb. 25, 1995, fight with Nigel Benn in London left him blind and brain-damaged. Some believe it’s the lucrative contract he signed with HBO in the closing months of Abraham’s watch that allowed him to fight who he wanted, not the higher-caliber opponents the pay-cable giant would have preferred.

    Abraham believes both theories are valid, and he admits to some degree of culpability by serving as Jones’ enabler.

    “He’s very direct about that,” Abraham says of Jones’ nightmares of ending up in a wheelchair, like McClellan. “I’ve heard him say, `No Nigel Benn is going to do that to me.’”

    It’s not like Jones never has taken risks – his clashes with Hopkins, James Toney and WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz appear as lush islands in a sea of flotsam. But then Roy Jones Jr. never met a 40-1 underdog he wouldn’t agree to beat up, provided his compensation for doing so was generous enough.

    “His drive was to do things that were of interest to him, but not necessarily to fight the very best middleweights, super middleweights and light heavyweights who were out there,” Abraham says. “I think Roy’s legacy in the sport absolutely will suffer because he chose not to do everything he could to make himself as great as he might have been.”
    Abraham’s final three months as president of HBO Sports – that would be July through September of 2000 – found him struggling with himself over how much Jones and his laissez faire attitude were worth.

    “One of my self-appointed assignments before I left HBO was to re-sign Roy to a new, multifight deal,” Abraham remembers. “I had started passing everything over to Ross Greenburg (who would succeed Abraham), but I wanted to go out with trumpets and flourishes. I made it a personal priority to lock up Roy. All the other fighters HBO wanted, except Roy, were signed to long-term contracts.

    “I went down to Pensacola and spent the day with Roy. We talked about boxing, we talked about his three sons, we talked about pretty much everything. One of the things I took away from that day with Roy – the Levins (Jones advisers Fred and Stanley Levin) were not there – was that nothing was going to change. But I still felt that, even if he was not our No. 1 draw (Oscar De La Hoya was and is HBO’s premier profit magnet), he was the very best fighter in the world.

    “I was probably a little too lenient in giving him the contract that I did. In retrospect, I wish I had taken a harder line with him. But he was such a special talent, I made an exception. We didn’t apply the same standards for him that we did for other fighters. I thought once Roy had the financial security he wanted, somewhere in him would be this desire to prove that he was up there with Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali and Ray Robinson as one of the all-time greats.”

    Abraham sighs, the regret in his voice evident. He bagged his quarry, but he couldn’t ignite the spark in Jones he had hoped for.

    “Even as he agreed to a new contract, I came away with the impression that he did not have the unquenchable thirst to fight the very best opponents,” Abraham says. “He wanted to make the most money. That’s fine. He wanted to take the fewest risks. That’s not fine if you want the most money.

    “But you know what? No one (in the HBO hierarchy) objected to the contract. It’s not like I overruled people. I think we all agreed that we did not want the best fighter in the world on another network, or freelancing. Maybe I should have let Ross make the decision. Maybe I should have said to him, `You’re going to have to live with this, you make the call. What do you want to do?’ But I didn’t do that.”

    So Jones accepted his $5 million guaranteed paydays and said, in effect, “Thank you very much. Now bring me Richard Frazier and Richard Hall.”

    Even out of the ring, Jones was a source of consternation. He showed promise as a color analyst in two stints with HBO, but, as was the case when he entered the ring himself, he tended to rely too much on natural talent.

    “Roy is a prima donna, a diva,” Merchant says. “He was cajoled and even threatened with penalties if he didn’t attend production meetings. Didn’t matter. He blew them off, anyway. He felt that, to do what he did, he didn’t need to be there. And to some degree, that might have been true because what was expected of Roy Jones was to provide expert analysis. He was very good at being able to dissect a fight, technically.

    “What he didn’t understand was that he might have done that job even better had he attended the meetings. When you’re involved in a team or group enterprise, you pay respect to your colleagues by doing the work and showing up. But Roy preferred to make grand entrances right before the telecast and wing it.”

    Through it all, his forays into rap and promoting, Jones believed, and maybe still does, that those incandescent swatches would forever allow him to act out as a petulant child. He was like the prettiest girl in school, the perpetual tease who can get every boy to do her bidding simply by batting her eyelashes. But even world-class beauties grow older and begin to wrinkle, and then the suitors stop coming around.

    Truth be told, Jones was never that skilled a boxer. Like the young Muhammad Ali, he did everything wrong, like dropping his hands and moving back in a straight line, but it turned out right because his reflexes were so remarkable. The fact that those reflexes had slowed, if even imperceptively, was obvious to all when Jones was knocked out by a single punch from Antonio Tarver, and by a cascade of punches from Glen Johnson that left him unconscious on the canvas for several minutes. It was if the shadow of Gerald McClellan finally was hovering over him.

    “As long as he was performing and on top of the world, people would let him get away with anything,” Merchant says. “But once he started to sink, nobody was eager to throw him a rope.

    “Look, Roy Jones is not the only fighter who looked at himself as being above it all. Ray Robinson was like that. Many times, Robinson would show up the night of a fight and tell the promoter he wasn’t going out unless he got another $25,000, another $50,000. And he usually got it. But you can only rub people’s noses in it so often.

    “I personally think that when his fall came so suddenly and so violently, it affected him profoundly. But that shouldn’t count against who he was at his best. Nobody talks about Ray Robinson losing so many fights at the end of his career because he hung around too long.”

    For their part, DiBella and Abraham also choose not to remember the friction and the fracases with Jones. Better to recall the eight-hook volley against Pazienza, the thudding body shot that put Virgil Hill down and out, the night he bulked up and completely befuddled the much larger Ruiz.

    “It’s very hard to get older, especially for someone with the ego of a super athlete, someone who once was the pinnacle,” DiBella says. “You see yourself not being able to do things you used to be able to do. Aging’s a bitch.

    “Look, Roy Jones is going in (the International Boxing Hall of Fame) on the first ballot because, in his prime, he was maybe the greatest athlete – not just fighter – ever. At his peak, no one who ever entered the ring was more athletic gifted, and I include Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson was a better fighter and a greater historical figure, but not a greater physical talent.”

    Abraham agrees, for the most part.

    “Roy Jones is a lot like Mike Tyson in some ways,” Abraham says. “If Mike Tyson had reached his full potential, we’d be arguing whether he, Muhammad Ali or Joe Louis was the greatest heavyweight of all time. It would have been like it was 50 years ago, when baseball fans in New York argued about whether Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays or Duke Snider was the best centerfielder.

    “If Roy had fulfilled his potential, then the discussion would be about who’s the greatest fighter of all time, he or Ray Robinson. But Tyson isn’t really a part of the debate now. Neither is Roy, and that’s a shame.”

    Jones, again edging closer to the fire, is talking up a possible matchup with WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe. Let the buyer beware, however.

    “I don’t want to see him get hurt,” DiBella says of Jones. “If I can help him somewhere down the line, I probably will. But I’m not his promoter, and I’m not volunteering.

    “There’s a thin line between being your own man and doing things that are self-destructive. Roy’s always been his own man and I respect him for that, but there are times when he’s done things to hurt himself. Roy is Roy. I don’t know if he can change, or even if he wants to.”

  13. #13
    Roberto Aqui
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    Jones Vs Calzaghe

    Though the match was proposed many moons ago, Roy was uninterested and Warren had smaller fish to fry. Now Roy is on the BBC site challenging Calzaghe at 168.

    Interesting that Roy could get down to 168 after fighting as heavy. Many blame that weight gain for his demise, and now here he is wanting to go to 168. Makes me wonder about how he gained all that weight since he obviously ain't a weight lifter.

    Anyone think Floyd might be a little punch drunk, or is this challenge a viable fight for him to win?

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    Floyd?

    I would also have a hard time understanding why Roy would ask for that. Maybe it's a money thing? I'm not really sure. Either way, I think it would be a tough fight to win. Calzaghe has good hand speed, and is a pretty smart fighter. He's got pop in, and I think he can get to Roy.

    Maybe he's in a little better shape then we are giving him credit for.

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    Absolutely its a money thing. For someone who claims he's hungry, he's certainly letting a lot of time go by between fights. His timing was off in all this last fights, Zag would light him up like a Christmas tree. This would have been a great fight 5 years ago. I doubt it happens anyway.

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    No way Roy fights him.

    Jones couldn't beat an old and tired Glen Johnson.

    How the hell is going to beat Calzaghe who is still fresh and hungry?

    Stick a fork in RJ - he's done.

    TKS

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    The bout is completely pointless at this point.

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    I think roy is still dangerous. I would pick him over calzaghe. For jones, a chance at redemption. I also don't see this fight being made though for some reason.

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    Sorry, don't see the fight happening.

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    Cant see these two super egos ever managing to get it on. Whoever though RJJ would be reduced to the sad old man act, begging for fights?

    The weight loss after Ruiz seem to badly drain RJJ, and now he wants to go back down even further??

    At this point Calzaghe would beat up & mug the shopworn RJJ. For that reason i'd expect Warren to take the fight, but money will probably mess it up.

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    I to doubt this fight will ever happen, will Calzaghe go over to the USA? Will Jones Jr travel to Wales? How will they split the money etc? There would be a lot of issues to sort out (as there always is). This fight has been talked about for about 9 years, I remember reading an interview with Enzo Calzaghe about the time his son won the title were he stated he felt his son had the style to beat Jones Jr, but almost a decade later and the fight still hasn't happened and never will in my opinion.

    Seeing Calzaghe slap the ghost of Jones Jr around the ring has little appeal to me anyway, this fight should have happenes an age ago.

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    This is about as necessary as the recent Hill-Maske rematch.

    Personally, despite being a fan of his throughout his whole career, I'd much rather see Jones fight Samuel Peter, get KTFO yet again and leave the damned ring alone. Not saying Slappy Joe wouldn't/couldn't do it but I want someone to leave no doubt.

    Calzaghe-Jones would been sweet 5-7 years ago and I think it might've been a helluva fight. Now ? C'mon.

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    where have you been (pronounce 'been' as 'bean')?

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    Re: Jones Vs Calzaghe

    Jones's ego won't let the fight happen at this point. He still acts like he's a superstar at the top of his game.
    Not a bad fight if it happened though...as long as it happened at around 175. Jones dropping that kind of weight at thsi point in his life will not be good. What is he going to drop at this point?
    Calzhage takes it IMO but not a bad fight.

  25. #25
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    Roy Jones To Face Little Known But Undefeated Challenger

    From the A.P. Wire

    Roy Jones Jr., once considered the best boxer in the world, is fighting Anthony Hanshaw on July 14 in Biloxi, Miss. Hanshaw, who will be trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr., is 21-0-1 with 14 knockouts.

    NEW YORK (AP) — Roy Jones Jr. will be facing a little-known fighter with a familiar trainer when he continues his comeback in a light heavyweight bout this summer in Mississippi.
    Jones, who has not held a title in more than three years but remains a fan favorite, will face undefeated Anthony "Tyger" Hanshaw on July 14 in Biloxi, Miss.

    Hanshaw, of Massillon, Ohio, said Wednesday at a Madison Square Garden news conference that he will begin training with Floyd Mayweather Sr., former trainer of Oscar De La Hoya and the estranged father of junior middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    Hanshaw, 21-0-1 with 14 knockouts, had been trained by John Russell. But Hanshaw said he will begin working with Mayweather next week, and that "it just wasn't going to work out" with Russell.

    The 38-year-old Jones, a five-time world champion who lost his WBA, WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles to Antonio Tarver in May 2004 and has lost two of his three fights since then, is 9 years older than the 29-year-old Hanshaw.

    "July is my time. Roy Jones had his time, it's my time now," Hanshaw said.

    Jones, who arrived 45 minutes late for the news conference and then text messaged on his cellphone during the lengthy introductions, sounded more like a promoter than a fighter at times Wednesday.

    Jones, 50-4 with 38 knockouts, acknowledged he tried to set up fights with higher-rated boxers such as Joe Calzaghe or Mikkel Kessler, but said Hanshaw was the type of up-and-coming fighter who will give him a challenge.

    "I don't go around looking for a guy I can beat, I go around looking for a challenge," Jones said. "I don't need to look good, I'm kind of cute already."

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    Re: Roy Jones To Face Little Known But Undefeated Challenger

    Who could have imagined just a few short years ago how inconsequential the announcement of an upcoming RJJ fight would be? It's almost as if the guy sprinted into retirement the day after Tarver's left hand smacked him down. Now there are even serious debates over whether he's HoF material or not.

    I may be going against the grain a little, but I still feel Jones is an all-time great. But I can't argue that the way he conducted his career has gone a long way towards blurring and marginalizing a talent that should have been remembered with a touch of awe. Who could have imagined? PeteLeo.

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    Re: Roy Jones Jr.

    ME.

    It was always obvious to moi that he was a fraud. & now folks brace yourselves for diatribes about the greatness Of Roymundo ...

    & Btw: I can back the always part, just go through my editorials in our magazine, Wail! from the 90's to recently.

    GorDoom

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    Re: Roy Jones Jr.

    Gor you sang his praises after he diced Ruiz ....

    Jones fall is one of the most unusual I have ever seen. For over a decade he was the best in the game. At 160 he was an all time great without question. He had the size, speed and power to dominate. He was never the same at light heavy. Regardless, the way he lost twice back to back was shocking. After that it's all been a farce.

    I truly think he is now a deeply troubled guy and nothing would surprise me.

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    Re: Roy Jones Jr.

    "I don't go around looking for a guy I can beat, I go around looking for a challenge," Jones said. "I don't need to look good, I'm kind of cute already."

    What B-S!! He alway looked for guys he could beat.

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    Re: Roy Jones Jr.

    Amen.

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