Two questions about Roy Jones Jr.

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Big Ukrainian, May 16, 2020.

  1. Big Ukrainian

    Big Ukrainian Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    1. Where do you rank him in your all-time list?

    2. Where would you rank him had he retired after beating John Ruiz and winning HW title?

    If it's hard for you to compare Roy to the guys from the first half of XX century, then just say where do you rank him among the greatest fighters of the last 30 years, which fighters of the last 30 years do you have ahead of him and would you rank anybody ahead of him had he retired after Ruiz fight?
     
  2. 88Chris05

    88Chris05 Active Member Full Member

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    I struggle assigning precise numbers on an all-time pound for pound list, because once I get past a certain number I think it ends up just being arbitrary as you could legitimately argue that there are 15-20 guys who all 'deserve' a place within something like 10 spots.

    But as a rough figure, Jones would probably be in the low end of my top fifteen. To put it into context against other fighters who have peaked in the last thirty-odd years, I mentioned the other day that I'd rate Mayweather slightly ahead of him: Mayweather the better and more consistent overall career, Jones the better and more dominant peak but hampered by a slight lack of big fights and attractive opponents in his Light-Heavyweight years is my reasoning in a nutshell. Floyd would be anywhere around #9 or #10 for me, but the margins between him, Roy (and Pernell) are pretty small. So on that basis, Roy comes in something like #13-15. Again I'll stress, that's not exact, just a rough estimate.

    I think I'd have had him creeping into my top ten had he retired after Ruiz, or even the first Tarver fight. Obviously anything that came after 2004 (the back-to-back KO losses to Tarver and Johnson) has absolutely zero impact on his rating, or at least it should have zero impact. Even then, I cut him some slack for what came in 2004, but given he was still the world's best pound for pounder just one year earlier, I can't totally ignore those first couple of defeats. Jones was starting to hit the downturn, but Tarver still had to go out there and prove it - unlike their third and final fight, or the likes of Calzaghe, Green, Lebedev etc., he didn't go into that fight with the luxury of knowing that he was facing a washed up husk who had nothing left. And safe to say that whatever downturn Jones might have been facing, Tarver takes credit for speeding it up. Johnson, I guess, was left with the task of proving that the Tarver KO wasn't a fluke - and once he'd done that, there's really no reason to deduct Jones any further points, because anyone with a half-sensible take on things should be satisfied that by that point, we were looking at a washed up fighter.

    Bit easier to rate him in a divisional sense, and I'd have him #6 at Light-Heavyweight. Obviously Super-Middle is a young division and I wouldn't quibble if people rank the likes of Calzaghe or Ward ahead of him on a 'legacy' basis at the weight, given their longevity or unifications there, but as fighters I don't think either were remotely in his class (especially Calzaghe) and I don't see any 168 pounder who'd have beaten Jones at the weight, even though he only campaigned their full-time for a couple of years. His win over Toney, particularly considering its one-sided nature, is the best in the history of the 168 lb weight class. He obviously doesn't feature that highly at Middleweight in terms of record and achievements, but on a head-to-head basis he's a terrifying prospect and there's not a single Middleweight in history I'd make an outright favourite against him, even if it's a 1993 / 1994 version of Jones with not that much championship experience to his name.

    Like the young Ali before refusing induction, I genuinely think Jones was just one of those extraordinary, once-in-a-generation kind of talents. Unfortunately he was stymied by a slight lack of super fights and opponents who could really give him a run for his money, especially between roughly 1998 and 2002. That, coupled with his very sudden fall from grace, probably just prevent him from claiming a spot alongside someone like Ali (or a Charles, Greb, Duran etc.), but he's in that next bracket just behind those kind of guys, for me.
     
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  3. BEATDOWNZ

    BEATDOWNZ Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Maybe the No.1

    H2H you would to favour anyone over a prime Roy Jones Junior.

    If he had retired after the Ruiz fight, we would be talking possibly abut the GOAT or at least the GOAT of our time.
     
  4. Bulldog24

    Bulldog24 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I rank nobody anywhere, because its not real.