Roy Jones Jr. - A 360 Degree Analysis Of The Myth That Is Roy

22.06.06 - By Dan Horgan: The press conference held by Roy Jones last week in Memphis has certainly brought his name back into the news. During the conference, Jones said his loss to Antonio Tarver may have been influenced by the presence of his father in his corner. Jones stated that he did not want his dad, who supposedly interfered with Alton Merkerson, Jones’ other trainer, to receive any credit if he won. With this in the back of his mind, he may have held back. This statement has sparked debates of large proportions throughout the boxing world. Some now think that Jones is still the fighter he once was, while some think the statement is total fiction, and that a once great legend is now down to a desperate excuse for an embarrassing loss.

Since Jones’ name has been in the news so much lately, other debates have formed about the former three time Light Heavyweight champ: Does he have anything left? Was he on steroids during his prime? Does Roy really believe his latest excuse? In this article, I will not attempt to answer these questions as Roy may be the most puzzling figure in the sport. However, I will provide analysis for both sides of each argument (to the up most extremes) and pipe in my opinion after full examination.

THE STATEMENT: Roy Jones is done as an elite Light Heavyweight.

Agreed-Not only has Roy Jones lost three fights in a row, he hasn’t even come close to winning! In his second fight with Tarver, the first punch Jones was hit with knocked him cold. Against Glen Johnson, Jones barely won a round, and couldn’t keep a normally weak puncher off of him. Although in his third fight with Tarver, Jones did win a few early rounds, he fatigued quickly and lost decisively. If we learned anything from these three fights, it’s that Jones can’t compete with the big boys anymore.

Disagreed-Sure, Jones has lost three in a row, but losses do not always have to be negative. Jones was in with two of the world’s best Light Heavyweights, and he went further and further into each of the three fights. In his third fight with Tarver, Jones put together combinations almost at will in the fifth round, showing that his incredible hand speed is still in tact. Also, we must consider that throughout these three fights, Jones’ body was still recovering from losing nearly twenty pounds of muscle from fighting John Ruiz. His progress in his past three fights shows that his body is on the way back.

My opinion-Jones is not yet done. No, he is not what he used to be, but keep in mind, Roy’s talents are not limited to pure athleticism. Jones is a thinker. He knows the art of fighting perhaps better than anyone in the sport. His mental toughness, mindset and pride alone will make him very tough to beat. Also, Jones’ hand speed is still exceptional. He can still pull the trigger faster than most top Light Heavyweights, and he is still capable of putting together combinations (just look at round five of this third fight with Tarver). Can he beat the likes of Glenn Johnson, Tomasz Amadeck, and Chad Dawson? Probably not. But can he work his way back up to a title shot? Absolutely.

THE STATEMENT: Is Jones’ lack of success now due to steroid use earlier in his career?

Agreed-When Roy Jones started his career back in 1989, he was a scrawny 154 pound fighter. But just seven years later, Jones was campaigning at 175 pounds, and his ripped physique at that weight is very suspicious. Twenty-one pounds is a lot of weight gain for a seven year span, especially when an athlete is able to maintain the hand speed and movement that Jones did. Plus, the fact that Jones can barely win four rounds against Antonio Tarver, a man Jones would have dominated in his prime, just shows how useless his body now is.

Disagreed-Sure, Jones put on a lot of weight throughout his career, but it was a gradual incline. All fighters that start young put on more and more muscle as they progress throughout their career! They hire personal trainers and learn more and more about dieting to build strength. In addition, the only big jump in weight that Jones made was from 175 to Heavyweight, and considering that he walks around at 185, he only gained eight pounds! Plus, Jones’ silver medal at the 1988 Olympics was certainly not steroid induced due to the strict testing policy they had. This alone should show that steroids were not needed for one of the world’s most naturally gifted fighters.

My opinion-I truly believe that never once did Roy even come near a performance enhancing drug. Jones’ talent was God Given, and if Jones was a steroid user, he would have gained more than a scant eight pounds before challenging one of the world’s top heavyweights.

THE STATEMENT: Roy Jones’ loss to Antonio Tarver last October was partially influenced by his dad in his corner.

Agreed-Roy Jones Jr. grew up in an abusive relationship with his father. Having to train hours upon hours a day at an age where kids just want to have fun, Jones lived in constant fear of what his dad might make him do next. So with a bad relationship already in place, Roy Sr.’s control tantrum in the Tarver fight was totally unacceptable. Roy was forced to fight two battles: He could either beat Tarver, and have his dad come out on top, or he could lose to Tarver, and assure that his dad did not receive any credit. This hesitancy in such an elite fight can throw any fighter off, and that’s what happened to Jones. The second half of the fight, Jones simply did not open up because in the back of his mind, he was fighting his father.

Disagreed-Is Roy serious? Does he really expect us to believe that his hatred of his father prevented him from becoming four time Light Heavyweight champion? Wasn’t this the guy, who just this past March, said the reason he fought so defensively was to ensure that his license was not revoked? Come on now! This sounds like a lame excuse from a lame fighter.

My opinion-Personally, I think that Roy simply can’t swallow his pride. Do I believe this statement to be true? No. But do I believe that Roy thinks it’s true? Yes. Roy simply can’t believe that someone else is better than him, and he is using this excuse to convince himself of that. I’m sure if Jones were ever to fight and beat Tarver again, he would quickly dismiss this notion, but for now, as crazy as it may be, I think Jones believes it.


COLLAZO TO FIGHT FOR IBF TITLE? - Although it has yet to be reported, I’m pretty sure that Luis Collazo will end up facing off against Mark Suarez for the vacant IBF welterweight title. The title, which was vacated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. this past Tuesday, would normally be up for grabs between the IBF’s top two contenders. However, the IBF’s number two contender, Kermit Cintron already has an HBO bout scheduled for July and will likely be passed over. That leaves the number three contender, Collazo to fill in and fight. The fight could end up on the undercard of Nikolay Valuev’s HBO debut this September.

DON’T COUNT OUT QUINTANA!-Carlos Quintana, who challenges hot prospect Joel Julio Saturday night on HBO, is a heavy underdog. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to find one person who is even giving him a chance in this fight. However, it would be wise not to count Quintana out. The twenty-nine year old is a knockout artist and, unlike Julio, has been into the later rounds of competitive bouts. Julio is still very green and has not faced the competition that Quintana has. Quintana could end up shocking the world…just remember where you heard it predicted.

COUNT OUT IBRAGIMOV - The main event of the evening however, does not spark the same intrigue. Timor Ibragimov, who will fight top ten contender Calvin Brock on the same card as Quintana-Julio, stands absolutely no chance of winning. In addition to facing weak competition, Ibragimov does not have the arsenal to compete with one of the world’s top Heavyweights. Brock should pick him apart and win easily.

GREAT FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS - Don’t miss Friday Nights Fights tomorrow. Not only is there a great main event featuring undefeated contender Joachim Alcine facing off against the rugged Javier Mamani, the undercard features hot Canadian prospect Jean Pascal against upset specialist Darnell Boone.

To contact this author, write to - Feel free to write, I‘ll debate all night.

Article posted on 23.06.2006

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