Exclusive: Roy Jones Jr. speaks out on Hopkins, Tarver, Johnson and his Career!
EXCLUSIVE Interview by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (January 9, 2006)
Boxer, rapper, actor, boxing commentator, semi pro basketball player, you name it and Roy Jones Jr. 49-4 (38) has pretty much had his hand in it. Jones has been a success throughout his highlighted career and even though he has accomplished all he set out to do the professional pugilist isn’t finished yet with the bang for your buck sport.
Photo © Benny Henderson Jr.
A Silver Medalist in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the Pensacola native broke out as professional boxer in the junior middleweight division in the spring of ’89 knocking out his first seventeen opponents, four in the opening round before going the distance winning a unanimous decision over seventy-five fight veteran Jorge Fernando Castro.
In the winter of ’92 Jones showed no mercy to opponent Percy ‘No Mercy’ Harris in a four round knockout earning the vacant WBC Continental Americas super middleweight title, and just five short months later defeated once beaten Bernard Hopkins via twelve round decision earning his first world title, the vacant IBF middleweight strap. And the destruction continued on with victories over the undefeated James Toney which earned RJJ the IBF super middleweight title, the summer of ’95 Roy knocked out the ‘Pazmanian Devil’ Vinny Pazienza, and after earning the WBC light heavyweight title from Jamaican Mike McCallum the undefeated thirty-four fight veteran was well on his way to his thirty-fifth win he was controversially disqualified in the ninth round to then undefeated Montell Griffin. But how sweet revenge can be! Five months later an angry belt-less Jones thumped Griffin in one round avenging his first loss.
Twelve more victories and RJJ would accomplish what no other middleweight has accomplished in over one hundred years by defeating heavyweight champion John Ruiz in March ’03 taking his WBA heavyweight strap via twelve round decision. But nobody even fathomed what would transpire one year later in a rematch against the ‘Magic Man’ Antonio Tarver; the underdog landed a heavy left hook in the second round that sent Jones down and out. Unable to beat the ten count, Roy was given his first knockout loss. Four months later Jones would taste the canvas once again when the ‘Road Warrior’ Glen Johnson socked and rocked RJJ in the ninth round rendering Jones helpless for several minutes on the canvas. And in an attempt to avenge his first shocking KO loss against Tarver, Jones fell once more in late ’05 by unanimous decision. Despite the three-fight slide Roy says he isn’t finished and if the terms are right there could possibly be a Hopkins-Jones II, and the thirty-six year old wants some more of Tarver and Johnson in the near future before he hangs up the gloves for the final time.
Seventeen years, fifty-three bouts, titles in four separate weight classes, fighter of the decade and pound for pound one of the best in the business, his uncanny style kept his streak going strong and no matter what the future may hold or what the boxing public may think about him, the future Hall of Famer has earned his spot in history.
Recently the former champ rolled into the small east Texas town of Tyler to support longtime friend Ray Carroll who owns Mr. Transmission at a grand opening of another location to conduct a meet and greet session for the customers and fans. Doghouse sat down exclusively with the highly decorated vet and got his thoughts on his career and the possibility match with Hopkins. Here is what RJJ had to say, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: What brought you to small town Texas?
Roy Jones Jr.: I love small towns and I love to be where people don’t normally expect me to be at, just like my boxing career I fought in places where people never thought I would go. I want to give the small town people the chance to witness all what goes on too. Everybody goes to Las Vegas, everybody goes to Houston and Dallas, but nobody comes to Tyler so that is where I want to go.
BH: You know you have the Hopkins match coming up…
RJ: (Breaking in) Maybe.
BH: It isn’t for sure?
RJ: It’s not for sure and I can tell you that now though, I have to sign my name on the line to make it sure and I haven’t seen nothing.
BH: What will make it for sure?
RJ: They just have to make it right, they have to make the contract right, of course I will sign but I am not going to sign on craziness. I mean you think about it and you do the math, how would you feel if you saw myself and Bernard Hopkins about to fight and they come in with a million dollar guarantee, you know what I am saying, and they say ya’ll split that. That is crazy right?
BH: Well me personally I’d take it because I am pretty much poor. (Laughs)
RJ: Oh I understand that, but us in the position that we are in.
BH: You have had an illustrious career with many accolades, what top three accomplishments are you most proud of?
RJ: Ah my career has gone pretty well, it has been wonderful. My whole career, well first off winning the national Golden Gloves, second making the Olympic team and my third was winning the heavyweight title.
BH: What advice would you give to a young fighter?
RJ: Learn the business, stay in shape, stay focused, stay with it, and know that nobody cares about you like you do. You have to take care of yourself.
BH: What have you learned about the business in your seventeen years as a pro?
RJ: (Laughs) Just what I told you, nobody cares about you like you do, so you have to take care of yourself.
BH: When people look back a hundred years from now what do you want them to say about Roy Jones?
RJ: I wouldn’t really care what they said about Roy Jones, you know what I mean.
BH: How would you define your career?
RJ: Wonderful, absolutely wonderful, magnificent, first guy in over one hundred years to come from middleweight to win the heavyweight title, so actually it has to be magnificent.
BH: What are your inspirations in music and boxing?
RJ: My inspiration in music is to produce a platinum album, and that has to be soon before it goes absolute which I think it will because of the internet. I want to be a platinum artist before that happens and in boxing my only thing is that I see three to four fights happening. If the Bernard fight comes off that will be number one, the other two would be Johnson and Tarver. If the Bernard fight doesn’t happen then I will fight a tune up with somebody else then I will fight Johnson and Tarver, and then I am done.
BH: Is there anything you would like to say in closing to the fans?
RJ: I enjoy my fans and I thank them all for the ones who truly supported me, the ones who really care for my truthful wellbeing and I really appreciate all their support. I thank God for people like them because people like them are what made me get up and go on the days that I didn’t want to get up and go. I appreciate all their support and I hope they will continue to support me in the future.
I would like to thank Roy Jones Jr. for his time and thoughts it was a pleasure. The Doghouse would like to acknowledge McGee Wright and Ray Carroll, independent owners and operators of various locations of the Mr. Transmission franchise. For transmission trouble in the Ft. Walton Beach, FL location please contact 850-862-5955 or if you are around and about the Tyler, TX area please contact 903-509-3500 for your car repair needs.
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