Exclusive Interview by Jenna Jay – The 173rd edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with former 4 division world champion Roy Jones Jr (56-8, 40KOs), who discussed a wide variety of topics including his recent victory over Pawel Glazewski, potential bouts at cruiserweight, thoughts on Nonito Donaire, performance enhancing drugs, corruption in boxing, how long he sees his career continuing and much much more! Here is what Roy had to say..
Jenna Jay: Roy, you recently made a return to the ring over in Poland, you got a split decision victory. How do you feel about your performance?
Roy Jones Jr: I felt good about the performance. You know it was a difficult situation, because until the day before the fight I didn’t know who I was actually going to be in the ring with the next day. And you know being a veteran, you don’t deal with those situations too often, however it was a good situation, and it turned out it was. I got the victory, and that’s all that matter to me. And that’s how it goes.
Jenna: Alright, lets talk about the fight a little bit, I got a chance to watch and the first five rounds you had a pretty easy time. Then in the sixth round you got a little bit to comfortable and you got caught out of position, it was kind of flash knock down. Can you describe what happened in that round?
RJJ: Yes he caught me, I was kind off balance…out of position for a minute, he caught me with a good shot, and like I said, I don’t complain and make excuses, it was a decent knock down, I was breezing through the first five rounds, that it got so easy that I probably got a bit complacent, because it had gotten so easy, and he woke me up with that one, and he probably won that round, I know he won that round and probably won round 7 and 8, but I got it back in rounds 9 & 10.
Jenna: Yes you definitely did close the fight strong. How did you feel in the later rounds?
RJJ: I felt good, I felt really good you know. You know, just making a few adjustments, and he was making adjustments but something we all have to do, especially when you have to perform at an older age. It felt a bit different, but I got to do what I go to do. So I had a great time. I felt wonderful and I am looking on to the next thing.
Jenna: Well the fighter you just beat was 17-0, he was ranked 9 by the WBC at light heavyweight. What do you think the win did for you.
RJJ: You know it just got me up and going, kept me busy, I really was looking to fight because I wanted too look for fight with the WBC cruiser weight champ, Wlodarczyk, however, since I got the win I heard talks that Lateef Kayode wants to fight me for the vacant IBO title now, because the IBO I guess stripped Tarver because of substance abuse or something, I am not sure of that case or what happened with it, but I heard Lateef Kayode say, that he wants to fight Roy Jones Jr at cruiser weight for the IBO title, so now its matter of who comes up first for the best situation for RJJ to fight, whether its Kayode or whether its Diablo over in Poland for the WBC title.
Let me tell you something about Glazewski, which is the guy I just fought in Poland, let me tell you about the guy I just fought, he was guy, who was looking for a great opportunity, they didn’t pick him by chance I don’t think, I think they knew from the beginning, you know, he was a decent fighter, that had better knock out power than he showed on his record, now it was only a flash knock down, but the guy showed great punching power for a light height. Actually I am looking to see him do much better and bigger things in LHW. I don’t think he was a guy who was picked randomly to fight. But I knew that coming in, and that’s why I knew when coming in I took it easy, took my time being careful and was very cautious about what I did.
(Roy Jones Jr. Interview starts at about the 32:00 minute mark)
Jenna: Now you mentioned a couple of opponents, Lateef Kayode and Diablo. You want to win the cruiser weight title, does it have any more importance for you to win the IBO belt, which is less regarded or the WBC belt.
RJJ: Well of course I want the WBC first, because it’s highly regarded, but to me, I want to win a cruiser weight title and if I need to win both, I can do that, because I love wining most of the belts, so either way it’s fine with me.
Jenna: Now you mentioned Antonio Tarver, with what came up with him. He did test positive according CA commission. What are your thoughts on that whole situation?
RJJ: I mean The guy is a decent fighter, if he tested positive, I don’t know for sure or what happened or how it happen, I mean in this sport, a lot of guys have been testing positive for steroid and things, I am not familiar for what he tested positive for, so I cant say really whole lot, because I don’t know, as the story comes out more, or as they put more about, than you’ll know, but you hate to see to happen to any athlete especially these athletes, because than it gives you indication, that wait a minute, about how long its been going on, but that’s where you need to make sure things, but hey you know it could be true or it could false. I don’t know
Jenna: Roy you mention a lot people are testing positives. You think steroids in boxing is problem?
RJJ: Yes, because so many guys have been testing positive, as matter of fact, there are several guys, who haven’t taken the test, they’ve been avoiding test, its got to be problem if its showing up so much, and I mean truthfully that’s the problem Floyd is having with Manny Pacquiao, that’s the start, that he is worried about steroids, so its got to be a problem, because its one the key hold up in the biggest fight that could happen in boxing today. So that tells you it’s got to be a problem
Jenna: Well Roy your 43, and in your last fight you had to adjust to something’s differently, because you are a little bet older, how do u feel performing at this stage, how well do you think you can continue to do so?
RJJ: I can perform wonderful, there were days in the gym. I felt my self performing, and I was like wow 43 and you could still do this. And it just totally amazed me. Just to be able to do it like that totally shocked me, and its like why would you just stop, when u can perform at this level, it shows people, and its encouraging to other people just because you get older, doesn’t u have to stop what your doing, you may have to make few changes, but you don’t have to stop
Jenna: Alright, besides being boxers, you are also HBO analyst, you recently called a couple of fights on the network, both the Pavlik and Nonito Doniare fights. What did you think?
RJJ: They were great fights. Kelly Pavlik I was glad to see him come back from his tragedy, well not tragedy, but the situation his being going through, you love to see a guy come back form a bad story and turn it around, and make them good. So I am glad to see Kelly Pavlik in the ring and back in the action. As you know Nonito is one of my favorite fighters to watch. To see him go out there and challenge himself, and face a guy who was six foot tall 122 pounds, was a beautiful thing. However, this guy probably did put more of a fight, than what I would think he would give him credit for, but Nonito handled the situation and in he 1th round made adjustment and finished the fight strong.
Jenna: Well Nonito Donaire is getting a lot attention, his moved up from 112, 115, 118, now122. He is already talking about fighting at 126. Do you think maybe he is taking on too much too soon by fighting all these big guys.
RJJ: No I don’t think you take on too much too soon at all. He is a guy who is capable of handle himself in any weight class. So I think he is doing a wonderful thing by going up and challenging and finding the next big challenge and take it on. I love it.
Jenna: Let’s talk about something’s going around the sport. Some hot topics of the sports. One thing that’s seeing lingering for a while, Manny Pacquiao’s decision loss to timothy Bradley, this fight in the world stage got so much negative press attracted so much attention to negative. You yourself were involved in a high controversial fight back in the amateurs, back in the Olympics. I’m just curious what your thoughts about all the press that decision got the one against Pacquiao and Bradley compare the one you got.
RJJ: It’s a lot of similar press. But the problem with me is. And I am not saying this, because you got to understand, my hat still goes off to Timothy Bradley, because timothy Bradley said best said it him self, I don’t know, I was going and look at it and see what happens before I make that call so that shows you that he didn’t feel comfortable about the decision or that he truly dominated or that he defeated Pacquiao in a dominating fashion. However, he did want to go back and look to see if did he do enough to make it a close fight or make it seem like it could of been close than what it seems by most of the viewing public, so that to me said a lot about Timothy Bradley. Secondly I though Pacquiao pretty much dominated the fight, but here is the real problem, the real problem is, when organization, or higher up personal go and they review the fight, just like the IOC did in my Olympic case, and you go back and you review the fight and you realize that the judges made a bad decision or made a mistake and it could of been do to any reason they could of been of mad, because Pacquiao held up the fight watching the basketball game that night, any reason they could of made a mistake, sometimes we makes mistakes out of anger, but when you realize that there was a mistake made, you don’t go reschedule another fight, you fix the mistake first, and if the IOC had fix the decision, you know what these guys made a bad decision, and RJJ won the fight, and what were going to do, is were not going blame Parsky Hearns for the fight but what will do is say is RJJ is gold medal 2 and maybe this year we gold medal a & b instead of gold, silver, bronze, you understand, because of the situation, we want to fix it, this kid dedicated a year of his life to become a gold medalist so they robbed him out, so were not going to let that go unfixed, and were going to fix that situation, and punish the judges.
That makes the next set of judges very aware, that if you cheat a guy, that something could happen to, and it makes it less likely that it will happen. And if you cheat a guy, it won’t do any good, because were going to go back review it and were going fix it. Now that discourages you from cheating! Why didn’t the WBO go back and say you know we see clearly that Pacquiao won the fight were going too give Pacquiao his title back and were going to ask Pacquiao if you don’t mind coming back and fighting Timothy Bradley again. Which I am sure Pacquiao would do because you know what I got some decent money for it and it wasn’t a hard fight so why not fight him again, I beat him once and next time I am going to knock him and show you how I feel about it. You understand me? That makes it right, because now WBO came back and fixed the situation that was wrong. Not order a new fight, a new fight don’t fix the first one. Because timothy Bradley shouldn’t go to the second fight as a champion. That’s my problem with it.
Jenna: Roy, what do you think boxing could do to fix the bad decisions, that continuously are happening, I mean you don’t see it once, its just not one fight, there have been plenty of bad decisions that are happening more and more.
RJJ: The way you fix it you go the problem who build it the judge? OK. If you make a bad decision, were going to reverse and were ban you from boxing or were going to suspend you for a year or two. You understand me? Now we suspend you for making bad decisions. So if you get involved in a bad decision that’s obvious, your gone you’re out here. That way we don’t have to worry about dealing with you no more. Right or wrong?
Jenna: Do you think Judges should be ranked, some of the best judges out there, should get the biggest call for the biggest fights, so these mistakes don’t happen.
RJJ: No, that’s not going to happen because you never know what instances it will happen. Because you got to think of it like this, when money is involved, anything can happen. So what if somebody came up to him and say hey were going to give you 2 million to rob this guy. And he say 2 million, well I am gong to be suspended for 2 years or for a year, but for 2 million I don’t mind being suspended. Would you? Wouldn’t you not, making that kind of money anyway so you understand me…? That don’t fix the problem. What fixes the problem is if you go back and have these decisions reversed and fix the decision, because its no good to cheat the guy, because the organization that sanctions the fight is going to go back and reverse the decision anyway. Now than it does you no good too cheating Manny Pacquiao, because they came back and fix it. So that’s the biggest issue.
Jenna: You know Roy after all these years, especially regarding you and what happened to you in Olympics, I am just curious do you have any ill feelings that they did give you gold, even though its been prove that there was something wrong done.
RJJ: Yeah I have ill feelings, because it decreases the integrity of the sport. When you can cheat somebody and don’t do anything about it. That’s like saying were going to go let a man going around here and rob a lady, and we know he did it, and we know what he did one tape, and were not going to do nothing to him, and were not going to give her money or whatever he stole from her back, than what good does it do to us to have a judicial system. Right or wrong. Integrity dies. If you let people go around and do whatever they want, what good does it do to us to have a judicial system? If your not going to fix it what good does it do u to have organization. It’s automatic no way. No way you can cheat and get away with it.
Jenna: Let me go back and what you were talking about before, and that was Manny Pacquiao and that was the fact you know what he should do next, a lot of people don’t want to see him fight Bradley. What do you think his next move should be?
RJJ: I don’t want him to fight Bradley either because to me that’s a waste of time and there is no reason he should be fighting Bradley, first of all he should have his title back, second of all if he wants to fix the fight, and he wants to create something go beat Marquez, because that’s the fight that’s always up in the air, that’s the fight we all wonder who won, we ain’t wondering who won in the Bradley fight we know who won that, we wonder who won the Marquez fight so go fix what’s unproven that’s something you could do, I think the fight could of gone either way 1st time, I think it should of been a draw, I had the fight 6-6, but people want to see winner emerge from those bouts. No true winner has emerge, every time its been a wonderful fight, without a true winner, so if you want to do something, and prove something to yourself and us, go beat Marquez, not a timothy Bradley, that wasn’t even a hard fight for Pacquiao.
Jenna: You know that’s the fight that people want to actually see right now, and if Pacquiao can beat Marquez, we all know the fight that people truly want to see, Mayweater vs. Pacquiao, Do you think it will happen?
RJJ: Yeah after that we would like to see him in a Mayweather fight, but because of the situation, because of the abuse of the steroids, which happens in professional sports today, people are afraid to make some of those calls and make some of those decisions, so people are having second guesses about certain fights, because they’re worried about that, which makes sense, but at the same time you know boxing fans suffer. So we don’t know what’s going to happen there.
Jenna: Pacquiao obviously hasn’t wanted to take steroid testing, because apparently he is afraid of needle’s. Do you think he should move pass that to make the big fight.
RJJ: It’s not my call to make, and Pacquiao is a man of his own, and you cant really blame a guy for you know if he has something that bothers him like that, and you can’t get mad at him for that, that’s just what it is, if he has afraid of needles, than he has fear of needles, nothing we can do about that, nothing we should worry about hats not our fear, thats his fear, so same thing goes with Floyd, well if Floyd says no I want to fight him because of x, y, z well if he don’t want to fight because of that, than that’s Floyd decision to make, and Floyd says, and I ask Floyd, if he doesn’t want to take it I don’t want the fight. Okay than we have to respect that. But than at the same time its not my call to say who should move past what, because people have different feelings about different things.
Jenna: Roy, you yourself have also been crtiziized in the past for fight big fight that did not happen, with the lineal champion at LHW. Why is it that fight never happened?
RJJ: I must mention this two I was asked about that situation in Germany, right before I was getting ready to fight in Poland and they kept trying to imply to me that I was never going to Germany to fight Dariusz Michalczewski, well it wasn’t that I was afraid to go to Germany you know, Germany is cool just like is the United States and I will visit anywhere but at the time like I told them I was, at the time I was the top fighter in the world, why would I go to his turf to fight him, and when I had 7 titles and he only had 1. So it’s not like I won’t go to Germany I’d go to Germany if it was a good situation for me, I heard a lot of bad things about Germany to enough, but you know people always have bad stories especially when things don’t go there way so I was never truly afraid to go to Germany just that it had to be the right situation and the right money. They offered him $5 million to come to U.S but he said No, but he will fight me in Germany. But that prompted me to say something is wrong, you know I am not going on your turf you feel me? But not that I was afraid to come to Germany that I was going on his turf on his terms and I had the most belts.
Jenna: Since you brought that up, 3 of your last 5 fights have been overseas, is this is a trend were going to continue to see from you?
RJJ: Most definitely, because I got to go where the champs are that have the belts right now if your not the man, you have to find the champs. And that’s what I was telling about Dariusz, I was the man you should come find me, so right now I am looking for the people that have the belts. Wherever the champ is, is who I am going to go. If I have to go to Africa to get it that’s where I am going. If I have to go to Egypt that’s where I am going. If I could it find it in the united states that’s where I ma going, because right now I want cruiser weight title, I don’t care where it comes, I want it, so I go to go where ever I got to go to get it.
Jenna: Roy that was the one belt you never did win. If you do win a true cruiser weight title belt will that be the piece that you need in career where you will say I’ve done all I could do.
RJJ: That’s enough for me. That will be enough for me.
Jenna: Speaking of that, I did mention before that you are 43. How more many fights do you think you got in you Roy?
RJJ: I probably got about 10 left, but I don’t want to use them all up (Laughs) So I want to do maybe 2 or 3 maybe the 5 at the most. I hope I don’t have to fight that many, but In Poland they say want me to say to do 3, so I did 1, if they want 2 more, they still got that right, the option for 2 more. Lateef Kayode, he says he wants some of me, if its for the IBO cruiserweight title, I will chose that, because that’s what I am looking for. So whatever happens you know I am willing to do whatever, and if they say well, after you fight Kayode and you win the belt, which I want to do, but you still have to fill you obligation in Poland, I say will finish the 3 fights, and win them.
Jenna: Final 2 questions. Between Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and Lateef Kayode who would be stylistically would be a good stylistic match for you Roy?
RJJ: I don’t know they’re both pretty tough, they are both pretty strong, for me it don’t matter, you got to fight, you got to fight it don’t matter who you fight stylistically both of them aggressive hard punching fighters that counter very similar you know your going to have to go Poland on Diablo’s turf to fight him, so it’s not neutral turf. In the United States fight with Lateef, you fight him on neutral turf. It’s toss up, but I got to do what I got to do to get it.
Jenna: You got a lot of fans out there Roy, you have had a lot of and through out your career anything you want to say to them?
RJJ: Yes, thanks to all my fans for all the support I do understand the concern about boxing about a late age however most of the people that got messed up that I know in boxing got messed up at the end of there career, or they got messed up early in there career before they realized they could get messed. I’ve been having a wonderful career, I’ve been enjoying myself, I still feel really well, better than I did 5 years ago, so you know with that being said, I don’t feel like its a danger for me to continue and if I did feel like its a danger I will be the first to stop, because I want to be able to have fun, play basketball, and enjoy my kids, so I am not going to be doing things that hurt myself, and do things that will hurt me in the long run, I thank every one for that concern, but Roy knows Roy.
Episode 173 featuring Emanuel Stewad & Roy Jones Jr.
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