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Old 10-15-2007, 11:52 AM   #1
TBooze
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Default Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

It is October 2007 and one way or another Roy Jones Jr is coming to the end of his career, and what a career…

In 55 fights Roy has shown he has perhaps only one peer; a Mr Walker Smith Jr of Detroit, Michigan, who was as sweet as they come.

Here then in my own words is a run down of Roy Jones Jr’s career:

After being robbed of a gold medal in the Seoul Olympics 1988, Roy Jones Jr became the first non Olympic gold medallist to win the most prestigious prize in amateur
boxing: The Val Barker Trophy.

Roy Jones began his pro journey on May 6th 1989 beating Ricky Randall in two rounds in his home town of Pensacola Florida, he follow that up with a victories over Stephan Johnson and Ron Amundsen over the following few months.

Then in only his fourth bout he had his first scheduled 10 rounder when he beat recently dethroned IBF Junior Middleweight Champ Robert ‘Bam Bam’ Hines over 10 rounds, winning by shut out and almost stopping Hines late in the bout.

At the start of 1990 Jones beat Kevin Pompey in eight rounds and came to Britain and beat British Light Middleweight Champ Gary Stretch by a cut eye stoppage in six brutal rounds. This led to Roy Jones challenging the murderous punching Julian Jackson for the WBA Junior Middleweight Championship in only his seventh fight.

On March 28 1990 Roy Jones had the shock of his young career, when after totally bamboozling ‘The Hawk’ Julian Jackson for two and a half rounds, he was caught with the mother of all right hands. How Jones got up and how he survived the rest of the round is perhaps evidence that there may be someone up there. But survive he did, and from then on a more circumspect Jones outboxed The Hawk for a couple more rounds, before Jackson’s right eye completely shut, and Jackson’s corner pulled the plug on The Hawk’s two and a half year reign as WBA Champion, at the end of the fifth.

Roy Jones Snr suggested trouble making the weight had led to his son being lacklustre, and a few days later Jones Jr indeed gave up his belt saying he could not make 154lbs no more.


In May 1990 Jones won a WBC Middleweight final elimination fight, when he beat Iran Barkley on another eye damage stoppage, this time in three rounds. Jones dominated but seemed to give Barkley a health dose of respect, perhaps Jones Jr was a little gun shy post Jackson?

A September date was set for his challenge of the vacant WBC crown against British veteran Herol ‘Bomber’ Graham, but first Jones proved he had learnt his lesson by destroying Julian Jackson inside two minutes of their middleweight rematch in July 1990. It was there we were introduced to the alter-ego Jones called RJ; a ruthless beast who would rear his head in the future as well.

Jones was favoured to beat Graham, who had been world class for seven years, but perhaps was past his best. But Jones was in for a surprise, Graham’s cunning caused Jones no end of trouble, for eight rounds Jones could only battle on even terms with the slippery Englishman, the most embarrassing moment being when Jones fell (literally) for Bomber Graham’s party trick and was thrown over the dipping Graham’s shoulder landing heavily on the canvas in the seventh.

But the last few rounds Graham tired and Jones came on strong, decking the brave Englishman twice in the final round to confirm his Unanimous point’s decision.


Jones was WBC Middleweight Champion of the World and wasted no time in calling out his championships peers Nunn and McCallum. A fight with the Jamaican veteran was set up for January 1991, if Jones could get past his defence his November against once beaten Reggie Johnson (26-1-1).

Johnson was a lot better than many thought and gave Jones a competitive battle for the first half dozen rounds, but when it became clear there would only be one winner, Johnson became only interested in getting to the final bell still on his feet; he did, but suffered a heavy points defeat in the process.

Jones went into 1991 with a 11-0 ( 8 ) record, and when perhaps a lesser man may have been fighting the Ricky Stackhouse’s of this world, Jones was a two weight titlist and stepping into the ring with the brilliant Bodysnatcher Mike McCallum…

Now I know to this day this fight splits boxing fans, it was darn close. At the end of a 12 round battle of wits against speed, both admitted it was close and that it could have gone either way. We boxing fans are cynics by nature, and I am as guilty as anyone, but to call this fight a ‘robbery’ is just wrong, Jones edged it in that great 12th when youth just got past experience, Jones deserved the split nod, although I will admit Luis Rivera’s card of 118/110 for Jones was way off the mark.

Jones was now ready for his unification battle with Michael Nunn (set for August) but first on an April double header (with Nunn against James Toney), Jones showed real class by giving McCallum a deserved immediate rematch.

Jones/McCallumII was an opportunity for the student to show he had surpassed his teacher, as Roy was simply to fast, to powerful, too everything for the Bodysnatcher. After 11 rounds of a one sided fight, Eddie Futch took us back 16 years (To the Thrilla in Manila), and showed what a great trainer sometimes has to do and pulled out his brave warrior before the final round.

On the undercard, the undefeated young stud, James Toney, found the miracle punch in the eleventh, to upset and show Michael to be at least second to one and throw a Nunn/Jones Middleweight unification out the window. Indeed Toney’s and Jones’ camp could not come to an agreement, thus Jones choose to fight Junior Middleweight Champion Terry Norris instead, at a match made at 157lbs.

Ray Leonard admitted after losing to Norris in February of that year that fighting Norris was like looking in the mirror of himself 10 years ago, well Norris found out this August evening what it may have been like fighting a mirror image of the original Sugar Ray…

August 3rd 1991 Roy Jones was arguably punch perfect; Norris was quick but could hardly land a punch on Jones for three rounds. A minute into the fourth a picture perfect left hook floored Terrible Terry. Norris bravely got up at nine and a half, the referee even more bravely let Norris continue. Jones threw a salvo of some 22 unanswered punches with Norris trapped on the ropes, the ref finally dived in, as Jones stepped back and Norris slumped face first on to the canvas.

Jones fought again later in the month back home in Pensacola, going though the motions beating the bigger Thulani ‘Sugarboy’ Malinga in nine rounds, in a non title fight. As 1992 began, finally James Toney and Roy Jones Jr were going to meet to create the first Middleweight Champion of the World since Ray Leonard’s 1987 retirement.

In January 1992 the undefeated Jones and Toney met in a much anticipated match-up. Sadly it did not live up to the hype, Toney blamed making 160lbs as he was outsped, outboxed and out punched, as Jones dominated the bout sweeping two of the cards, winning a unanimous decision.

Jones made four defences though the year, in his ‘World Tour’: In April he beat Sambu Kalambay in ten in Italy. In June he easily outpointed the tough Irishman Steve Collins in Dublin. In August he stopped undefeated Lamar Parks in eleven in London, before in December he met a young (ish) Bernard Hopkins in Toronto, outpointing him in (a then surprisingly) tough 12 rounder.

After the Hopkins fight, Jones was 20-0 (13), and ready for bigger challenges at 168lbs. His only realistic fight at Middleweight was against Gerald McClellan, but Roy and Gerald were very good friends, and said they would not fight each other.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

More real path:
1990 - sign up with one of big promoters (Don King or Ray Leonard).
1991 - jr. middle, Terry Norris, Gianfranco Rosi.
1992 - middleweight, Julian Jackson or Mike McCallum or James Toney.
1993 - super middle, Michael Nunn, Nigel Benn, Iran Barkley, James Toney.
1995 - light heavy, Virgil Hill, Mike McCallum, Henry Maske, Dariusz Michalczewski.
1997 - cruiser, Uriah Grant, Imamu Mayfield, Fabrice Tiozzo, Marcelo Dominguez, Juan Carlos Gomez
1998 - heavyweight Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson
2000 - retirement with titles in 5 or 6 divisions.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senya13
More real path:
1990 - sign up with one of big promoters (Don King or Ray Leonard).
1991 - jr. middle, Terry Norris, Gianfranco Rosi.
1992 - middleweight, Julian Jackson or Mike McCallum or James Toney.
1993 - super middle, Michael Nunn, Nigel Benn, Iran Barkley, James Toney.
1995 - light heavy, Virgil Hill, Mike McCallum, Henry Maske, Dariusz Michalczewski.
1997 - cruiser, Uriah Grant, Imamu Mayfield, Fabrice Tiozzo, Marcelo Dominguez, Juan Carlos Gomez
1998 - heavyweight Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson
2000 - retirement with titles in 5 or 6 divisions.
As the resident Jones expert what do you consider his five best performences.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

1. James Toney
2. Montell Griffin II
3. Merqui Sosa
4. Virgil Hill
5. John Ruiz
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

I've always said, the course of Jones career changed the moment Gerald McClellan took a knee at the end of the Nigel Benn fight. The aftermath hit Roy hard and he never fought the same way again. That's the biggest consternation of his career, as far as popularity goes.

After McClellan/Benn, Roy became very cautious about who he fought and how he fought them (aside from the occasional bout against somebody Roy personally had disdain for like Griffin and Allen).
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattler
against somebody Roy personally had disdain for like Griffin and Allen
Hopkins fought Allen, not Jones. He was a very good fighter outside of that disgraceful 2nd fight with B-Hop. Skills, punch, chin, could easily have been a champ if not for Hopkins.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

Roy Jones - could have been the best ever.

Floyd Mayweather - could have been the best ever.

Roberto Duran - could have been the best ever.

This can be said for quite a few.

Ultimately I don't think anyone rivalled what Robinson, Armstrong and Leonard did. Not sure the number 1 spot is between anyone else.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

Quote:
Originally Posted by achillesthegreat

Roberto Duran - could have been the best ever.
I would disagree with Duran, I do not see what else he could of realistically done/not done to improve his rating... maybe better eating habits between fights?
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Pea
Pretty sure Leonard doesn't belong up there at the #1 spot, nor does Duran. You could make an argument for Leonard being out of the top 10 and Duran being around there.
I think thats Benny Leonard
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBooze
I would disagree with Duran, I do not see what else he could of realistically done/not done to improve his rating... maybe better eating habits between fights?
He could have taken steroids. Worked for Jones and Holyfield
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: Roy Jones: What could of been... ? Part one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senya13
Hopkins fought Allen, not Jones. He was a very good fighter outside of that disgraceful 2nd fight with B-Hop. Skills, punch, chin, could easily have been a champ if not for Hopkins.
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