Sharkie’s Machine: The “Majestic” Roy Jones Jr.

Roy Jones Jr. Vs. Clinton Woods
(47-1-0-38 KO’s) - (32-2-0-18 KO’s)

By Frank Gonzalez Jr.

09.09 - On Saturday, we were treated to an exhibition of greatness, compliments of Roy Jones Jr.
We are lucky to be alive in Roy’s era. Not only is he an amazing Boxing phenomenon, but he can sing too. I just loved the show he put on before the fight. I’m sure even Clinton Woods was tapping his feet to the hip-hop beat. As I wondered to myself, “where can I buy a copy of the song Roy just graced us with?” the answer was right there, in the center of the ring. How convenient I thought. Not to mention how classy it was of Jones to use the ring as a billboard for his album, which is available in stores now. I’m betting sales went through the roof after this weekend!

I’ve been a fight fan most of my life and can’t remember a champion the likes of Roy Jones Jr. If you don’t know what makes Roy so great, go out and buy his CD and listen to the song, “Y’all Musta Forgot” and hear it from the man himself.

Like McDonald’s hamburger restaurants have dominated the world as a fast food giant, so has Roy Jones Jr. conquered the wide world of Boxing. The products may look different, but they are similar in many ways. Even people who don’t follow Boxing know of Roy, he’s a household name. Just like people who don’t eat junk food are aware of Mickey Dee’s.

As a fight fan, I want to see good match ups. But maybe I’m wrong? Why should I want a good match up where my favorite fighter can actually get hurt or lose, when I can get to witness greatness unfold before me in a match that enables my favorite fighter to shine? It’s like when you’re on a long drive and your stomach starts to mumble and one word enters your mind; food. You see a road sign saying there’s a Mc Donald’s three miles ahead. What do you do? Get off at some foreign exit and get lost driving around looking for a quality restaurant? No, you do the safe thing, you follow the easy sign that takes you to the McDonald’s. It’s right alongside the highway that you don’t really want to get off in the first place. So, you might get a touch of indigestion, but hey, at least you’re not hungry anymore.

That’s why I’m a Roy Jones Jr. fan. He knows what the public wants. He said so during his post fight interview to HBO’s Larry Merchant. When Merchant asked Jones what was next for him, a fight with Antonio Tarver, or stepping in the ring with WBA Heavyweight Champion, John Ruiz? Imagine Jones being brave enough to fight a HW champion. He’s going to out weigh Jones by more than 50lbs. Hey, I remember when he almost fought Buster Douglas, that was a big fight, it never happened, but in retrospect, it was big.

Jones said he would weigh it all out, see what the public wants before making a decision. He knows the fans don’t really want to see him fight at Super-Middle to face Hopkins, who has the audacity to want 10 million for the fight. Besides, Jones already beat Hopkins back in 1993.

They don’t want to see him go to Germany and beat up on Dariusz Michaelczeweski. Besides, Jones is only asking for 24 Million to fight Dariusz. That sounds fair enough, no?

And who can imagine Roy fighting Vassily Jirov at Cruiser? Come on, Jones is a Light Heavy for heavens sake! Just sit back and enjoy being a bewildered, perplexed fan for once. It’s going to be a hellova show. Jones assured the public that it would be either Ruiz or Tarver next. His concern for the public is touching. Hold on while I wipe this tear…

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The Show Must Go On

After Roy’s elaborate ring entrance, (reminiscent of Prince Naseem Hamed) accompanied by a shower of confetti, Referee Jay Nady had to call a halt to the first round in order to clean the ring. Someone could slip on all that confetti and break their ego or something. And we all know safety comes first in any Roy Jones Jr. production. I can’t help but remember what happened to the flamboyant Prince when he finally took his show to a top fighter named Barrera.

Clinton Woods of Sheffield England stood tall and faced Jones in the Never-Never-Land section of Portland Oregon, in the US of A. I know it was Oregon, but it sure felt like Hollywood! All those flashing lights, the music, the Cowgirls in short white skirts dancing away. It was, at the least, a mini-Las Vegas atmosphere. Beloved home of the wonderful people of Nike, who pay Roy handsomely to promote their gear. (Unlike the folks who make the gear in the sweatshops around the world) Besides the customary five Million dollars Roy gets from HBO for defending his titles so gallantly, you have to wonder how much he raked in with this whole Nike and Jordan brand sponsorship.

The HBO crew mentioned that Woods didn’t know exactly how much he was making, only that is was a hell of a lot less than Jones was making. It’s possible that Jones made 90% more money than Woods. Hey, that’s fair. Jones is practically a god, Woods, a mere mortal.

Who is Clinton Woods? What kind of question is that mate? You should know! This bloke’s from England, where he’s fought all of his fights until now. He’s the #1 ranked contender at Light Heavyweight according to the WBC and the WBO. He’s also ranked #3 by the WBA. Not a household name, nor the holder of The Secret Flame. Beating an old Yawe Davis back in September or 2001 is his only claim to fame. Before being slated to fight Jones he was practically a no name, except maybe in merry Old England, from whence he came. He has a stellar record; 32-2-0-18 KO’s. The 2 is new, once again, compliments of the Majestic Roy Jones Jr.
So let me tell you about the event, or I should say…

The Fight

Round One (not the album, the fight)

Clinton Woods races to center ring to bring the fight to Roy. He is aggressive and undaunted by Jones greatness, yet. Jones throws some punches that Woods takes well. Jones doesn’t appear to hurt Woods with his shots. It is possible that this was a close round. Jones threw more, landed more, but Woods was the aggressor and seemed to hit harder.

Round Two

Woods is aggressive still, pushing Jones into the ropes, attacking the body and sometimes the head, behaving like a man who wanted to actually win. Using his height and intent, Woods appeared to annoy Jones, who peppered Woods with lightning speed jabs that were so fast, I could only hear them as they whizzed through the air. Hard core disbelievers and or heretics may have given that round to Woods. But I never would. By the end of the round, Jones looked concerned. I bit my nail. Jones tells his trainer Alton Merkerson, “I’m gonna knock him out!”

I wondered why Woods would behave such a way? Here’s Jones giving him an opportunity of a lifetime and what does he do? He gets all aggressive on Roy. That’s not the way these fights are supposed to happen. I give Roy that round on principle alone.

Round Three

As the bell rings, Jones shows the crowd what he’s all about. He throws jabs, hooks, body shots and even the kitchen sink (Referee Jay Nady didn’t even warn Roy for that last one). Woods looked like he was going to make him pay right away for his indiscretions of the previous rounds. Woods showed heart though; even getting a few punches in him self. No wonder he’s so highly ranked. You had to give that round to Jones though, his talent level dwarfs Clinton Woods’ amateurish skill. During the break, Alton Merkerson calmly gave Roy some instruction, telling him to continue doing what he was doing. That’s got to be one hellova job! Being Roy’s trainer.

Round Four

Roy enters the fourth round on a mission. The mission, should Roy choose to accept, is to knock out Clinton Woods. He pours the punches on, catching Woods with some devastating body blows that would have knocked a tree down. He bloodied Woods face and though he didn’t knock Woods out, he sure hurt him as Clinton staggered to his corner, wincing in pain from those wicked body shots. Maybe the reason Roy didn’t drop him was that his hand might’ve been hurting. Sometimes that happens, you know? Do I need to say who won this round?

Round Five

Roy could smell the blood as he opened up a can of ass-whoop on Woods in the fifth. Seeing how Woods had slowed considerably, Jones took another opportunity to entertain his fans as he danced, chicken hopped and bobbled his head back and forth, taunting the wounded Woods. For a second, Woods stepped back, thinking maybe Jones was going to sing again. This may have been his cue to throw the fight. No, that wasn’t Clinton’s job; that was his trainer’s duty to know when is when. In only the fifth round and there was still some show left to put on.

Woods may have been hurting but still showed a sense of humor as he mock imitated Jones imitating a chicken. The crowd roared with laughter. Maybe Woods didn’t get his instructions right during practice as he seemed almost unimpressed with Roy’s power as he’d been hit so many times and was still on his feet. Ah, the excitement, the drama, the comedy. Jones takes another round easily.

Round Six

Jones aggressively attacks Woods who is reduced to total defensive mode, always backing away until finally after throwing like no punches to Jones 80 punches, Woods corner threw in the towel. With a gesture that said, “Oh well.” Woods walked away. It was over. Jones had emerged once again, victorious. Jones power was just too much for Wood’s corner to handle.

Punch Stats

(often inaccurate, but what the hell)

Jones - Woods

140 Landed 39

300 Thrown 166

47% Percentage 23%

Power Punches

Jones - Woods

122 Landed 30

201 Thrown 115

61% Percentage 26%

A much more exciting contest than Roy’s last outing against the formerly unbeaten Glen ‘The Beast From Down Under’ Kelly. Kelly’s record is now scarred with an L, compliments of Roy Jones Jr.

If you’re wondering what fraternity Kelly and Woods are from, don’t. You’re not supposed to go there. I will leak one tidbit of supposition here, it’s the fraternity of boxers who become Roy’s mandatory challengers and it’s a secret. You know, if I told you, I’d have to kill you.

Hey, Jones was robbed in the Seoul Olympics against a Korean fighter. Jones won every round but the Korean Judges scored in favor of the Korean fighter anyway. This pissed Jones off. In Jones quest for vengeance, he has conquered fighters from the four corners of the globe. Derrick Harmon, from Florida, in the Western Hemisphere. Glen Kelly is from Australia, the far end of the planet. Clinton Woods, from England, tip of the Old World. He might face a fighter from some obscure land next to complete his revenge. So don’t get all angry next time you read that Jones next opponent is say, Vijay Singhsong (32-1-0-14 KO’s), Light Heavy from a small province in India, its just part of his quest for revenge via world domination. Vijay will have an impressive record too, but Jones will win.

You see, I’ve already told you too much.

Larry Merchant may not have understood what Roy meant as he conducted the post fight interview.

Jones was gracious and humble in victory as always saying, “I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to put on an excellent performance like I do, because being with brand Jordan and Nike makes you want to come out and give them a good name and hopefully in the future, other people will see that boxers can do other things besides fighting. They can be good representatives.” (Privately he feels blessed with this fat HBO contract and all the other money he’s making. No, he didn’t exactly say that, that is the translation of an infidel!)

Merchant then mentioned Wood’s was courageous and kept coming at Jones in a spirited performance. He asked Jones if he expected that.

RJJ: “Yes, I expected him to come, like I said yesterday at the pre-fight meeting, people say this guy’s a bum, but this guy has a big heart, you know, skillfully, he’s not on my level…”

LM: “You said he was a bum.”

RJJ: “Well, I didn’t say he was a bum, I said people said he was a bum. I just said skillfully, he wasn’t on my level. But I never would call a guy a who has the heart to come in and put his life on the line, especially facing me, a bum anyway, so no, I never called him a bum and I told you the guy was spirited and had a big heart. And sometimes when you’re not conditioned, the heart will overcome skill and speed and every thing else.”

LM: “You put on a big show before the fight, give us your reasoning. Is showmanship now going to be more a part of your act?”

RJJ: “Yeah it should be now, because you know what, excuse me, no disrespect to nobody but, for a long time I laid back and tried to argue about people fighting, about the money, about making a big fight and um, and I decided now, you know what, if someone wants to fight me, let them be the number one contender, we can fight 75-25, that’s what the laws say, other than that, why should I be worried? Spend more time making myself happy, uh, coming up performing for God. God blessed me with this talent. Why am I allowing the critics to bring me to their level to argue?”

Well, if that isn’t the most coherent explanation for all you naysayers, I don’t know what else to say. This makes more than sense, it makes dollars.

Let’s be grateful that next weekend promises to be more dangerous fare in Oscar De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas. Maybe not as safe and predictably exciting as watching Roy dispense with the mystery, mandatory challengers of the year-- but a real fight at least.

Sort of like getting off that highway and finding an excellent Steakhouse with a great salad bar. And a huge color TV showing Vargas vs. De La Hoya! You smile as you leave the restaurant and notice a little Roy Jones Jr. bobble head doll at the cash register.

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Agree or disagree? Send comments to


Roy Jones Jr. A Legend In His Own Mind

By Ed Ludwig

08.09 - Ring announcer Michael Buffer could not have been more wrong when he said "Now The Moment You All Have Been Waiting For" during the introductions of Roy Jones' latest title defence against Clinton Woods. Jones (47-1 38 KO's) retained his collection of titles by scoring a sixth round TKO over the overmatched and outclassed Clinton Woods (32-2 18 KO's).

After sitting through a boring ring entrance which seemed to go on forever the champion got down to business and accomplished what we all expected. Woods was a brave challenger but very undeserving of this opportunity. Then again both Jones and Woods have beaten nobodies so maybe this was meant to be. What will Jones and HBO shove down our throats the next time out?

Hiding behind mandatory title defences is the lamest excuse and it robs the paying public of deserving fights. The carousel of tomato cans will continue and seal Jones status as the biggest waste of talent in boxing history. Potential greats of the past pissed it all away from alcoholism, drug addictions etc. Jones takes on the feather-fisted fighters because it is his addiction as it fills up his over inflated bank account every time out.

If he claims to be as good as he says then why doesn't he drop some of those belts that are holding him back? Remember this Roy, "The man makes the belt. The belt doesn't make the man". As for a proposed bout with WBA Heavyweight champ, John Ruiz, give me a break! This is more of a publicity stunt to get the media and the public off his back. The same thing was said a few years ago with Buster Douglas.

Jones has plenty of deserving opponents in the Light Heavyweight Division so he should take care of them before considering a move up to another weight class. He has the gift to become an all time great and it is wasting away with each passing day. I'm sure Jones believes he is a legend but only in his own mind. The only legendary thing about him in my opinion is his long list of tomato cans that could stock my kitchen cupboard for a lifetime. Hmmm, lets see, there are stewed, diced, Frazier, Kelly and Woods tomatoes. Such a variety I can choose from.

If there had been only one title per division I bet Roy Jones would have no excuses to hide behind. What the heck is he waiting for anyway? Then again, does it really matter? The boxing world does not revolve around the undisputed champion. Maybe he should retire because he is playing everyone for fools with all of his talk about fighting this guy and that guy. With his music, acting, promotional company how does he find the time for training, let alone fighting? His fans won't be happy with what I said but it is true. Justified criticism won't change anything but hopefully it will open some eyes, especially his fans and show them how much of a fraud he is.

What bugs me is that he could have been the next Muhammad Ali outside of the Heavyweight division. Boxers like Jones don't come along that often and it is a shame that he won't step up to the plate and take a swing at the big time. My final question is, he afraid to take a swing or afraid of getting hit? Come on Roy, it's time to play ball!



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