Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Rollin, Nov 19, 2023.
Curious about how super the Superman was at the weight.
Dominating performances against Griffin, Hill and Jones aren't bad. DM was the name that was missing.
DM was missing but I haven't seen many argue that RJJ wouldn't have dominated. Their not fighting, although, undesirable is understandable - Roy didn't want to travel and face prospects of another Seoul fiasco.
As great at Roy looked, I think I am starting to potentially asterisk the latter period of his career before he fell off a cliff, when I rank him all time - BALCO is a stain that I can't gloss over.
Yeah, DM priced himself out of a fight with Jones. His name and maybe Nunn's are what were missing on Roy's record from that era, which wasn't a very strong one except for Jones.
And I can't really object to docking him some places for testing positive. That his opponent tested positive with even higher levels tells us something about PED use back then I think, but I can't prove that of course. Maybe honour kept the rest clean even despite there hardly being any testing. That would surprise me, but that's again just my own thoughts on the subject.
RJJ toyed with Julio Cesar Gonzalez who ended Dariusz's Michalczewski's unbeaten record.
And also dominated Richard Hall who gave Dariusz Michalczewski two hard battles.
RJJ was a level above Michalczewski for sure.
It was ok. He painted pretty pictures didn't he, Jones? Had some cheap canvases, though.
He beat some good fighters at the weight (Griffin, Hill, Clinton Woods, for example) - and did so with ease. He also beat Tarver in the first fight.
He had success at lower weights and seemed to bring that mystique up with him. DM was the one fight to really inarguably cement Roy 's position. But it never seemed that close to happening, from memory. Roy was so dominant and just seemed unbeatable around that time (98 - 2003). So I don't recall many people clamouring for it (although I know that's not how boxing should work) - I do think there was more intrigue in the heavyweight fight.
I have always been of the opinion that Jones' opposition (across the board) tends to get downplayed a little, because he handled people with such ease.
RJJ went 21-7 at LHW. He was 16-1 before losing to Tarver, past prime aged 35, his only loss being an avenged DQ vs Montell Griffin.
Aside from the Griffin rematch, he beat Virgil Hill, Tarver, Eric Harding, Julio Cesar Gonazalez, a 40-year Mike McCallum and Clinton Woods. Prior to Tarver, his LHW wins were mostly non-competitive. It isn't the greatest LHW resume, but the scale of dominance during his peak, against a selection of world class LHWs, hint at how unbelievably good he was.
I think that it was really good.
On paper, most will say that it was nothing special. But I think that if you apply context and look at the circumstances etc, then it was a very good run. It was very impressive.
He beat good fighters absolutely emphatically, in a way that nobody else could.
He also deserves huge credit for reclaiming the LHW titles after fighting at HW, where he had to burn off that muscle.
The highlights were:
He destroyed Montell Griffin in their rematch, with a lead uppercut in under 3 mins. And Griffin was a solid fighter.
He destroyed Virgil Hill with an amazing 4th round body shot. And nobody else knocked out Hill in his career, and Hill also went on to win a belt at CW.
He hammered Richard Hall, who gave Dariusz M two good and tough fights.
He was the only guy who ever toyed with Reggie Johnson, who was still a very good fighter at that point.
He toyed with Clinton Woods, who was a decent fighter who split 3 fights with Glen Johnson.
He easily beat Julio Gonzales, who beat Dariusz M.
He burnt muscle in just 2 months, to beat Tarver, who was a very tough match up for him stylistically. And he beat him whilst being absolutely exhausted, which was due to the weight loss.
He had an 8 year run.
Like others have said, he needed the Dariusz fight.
That was the big omission.
It was however still very impressive.
People say that Roy was risk averse etc. But had he have wanted to, he could have sat on that IBF, SMW title for years, where he could have made numerous defences of it for a very long period of time.
They were very good-great performances.
I think this is what it boils down to for me aswell, Jones may not of beaten any great fighters at Light Heavyweight well.....I would say Virgil Hill is a borderline great/very good fighter.
But it's the way Jones beat these opponents who may of not been great....but still world class.
As i already mentioned above fighters like Hall had two brutal wars with Michalczewski. Gonzalez also ended Michalczewski's long unbeaten record.
Jones toyed with those fighters like they were sparring partners.
Even someone like Clinton Woods I don't think he was ever stopped in his career outside of the RJJ fight ? Jones is the only one who really beat him up.
So for his overall dominance vs solid world class fighters, along with beating a borderline great in Virgil Hill it's a very impressive run IMO.
A really great point was made here ... Context is King. It's so hard to describe to people who weren't watching boxing at the time ... There was NO ONE viewed like a prime Roy. The aura around him was insane - there was Roy Jones, the best boxer on the planet, and then... everyone else. There was a huge gap, P4P, between him and second place - and there were plenty of terrific fighters active during that stretch (Hopkins, Mayweather, Calzaghe, Lewis, Mosley etc). None of the others came close. He was viewed as that good. You kind of went into a Jones fight not wondering whether he would win, but how good he'd look while doing it. I've watched boxing for 30 years and I've never seen anything like it since. Those prime years were a thing to behold, as a fan. I was absolutely convinced he'd retire undefeated (excluding the Griffin DQ) - especially after the heavyweight win.
I'm not at peace with how easily a fighter of Roy's immense ability and lofty reputation gets off with not facing Michalczewski tbh, though the latter clearly didn't fancy it either and was probably just as culpable for the fight never happening.
The fact remains that it never happened despite them being the best fighters in the division, one a p4p multi-weight titleist and the other the 'lineal' champion. I'd agree that Jones was clearly a step above and would have probably won relatively comfortably, but that only makes it all the more gear-grinding that he didn't just bite the bullet a bit, and the quasi-justifying of it by saying oh well he would've won anyway is a patronising crock of bollocks. You don't get historical standing and brownie points for what might have been, and Jones was amazing enough without needing to be credited for non-existent wins.
The refusing to fight abroad because of the Seoul debacle (and the defence of it by people) is a bit of an entitled two fingers up to the many fighters who frequently got on with having to fight abroad in an opponent's back yard, knowing that if they didn't leave said opponent spitting teeth and wondering what day it was, they were probably going home with an L on their ledger and a lot less in their back pockets than what Jones would've earned if he'd swallowed his ego just once. Especially considering that pretty much all of them didn't possess the rarified skill and ability that Roy did, and stood far less of a chance of bringing home the gravy.
I say this as a long time admirer of the man's talents. He was a special fighter, make no mistake.
I'm not the fan of Hill, the sluggish 175 version of Reggie Johnson, Hall, Gonzalez etc that some are either tbh, though Jones dealt with them exactly as he should've done which is far from a guaranteed given I suppose. His dominance over them is more of a testament than the intrinsic quality of his 175 CV, which is historically fairly weak to me, and he rather sat on his laurels over the second half of his run there.
I did rate Griffin though, weirdly, at least as a technician. An excellently skilled guy at his best who just lacked physical talent and durability.
I thought the win over Lou del Valle to add the WBA belt to his collection by near-shutout (he only lost the round where he suffered a flash knockdown) was another good win — Lou had given Virgil Hill fits in a failed challenge, although del Valle’s résumé’s a bit thin outside of that and the win over Eddy Smulders for the vacant strap.
I don’t recall Jones ever being linked with Victor Conte or BALCO. Mosley and Evan Fields yes but I only know of the Richard Hall fight that Jones popped for and I never saw Roy’s name listed with those mentioned as being linked to BALCO (Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Jason Giambi, Barry Bonds, Mosley, Evander etc).