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Undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world Roy Jones, Jr. has long been considered one of the greatest boxing champions of all time. His professional record of 43-1 with 35 knockouts speaks for itself. Many critics have him at the top of their pound-for-pound best boxer lists.

Jones is known for incredible speed and power. In May of 1994 he defended his middleweight title against 29-2 boxer Thomas Tate (the number one contender) and knocked out his opponent with a single devastating left hook.

Because of his unprecedented dominance of the sport, he has faced and beaten nearly all the worthy contenders in or near his division. One by one, critics are removing him from the top of their lists simply because Jones has no one left to fight. Jones was widely criticized for passing up a fight with Bernard Hopkins in early 2001. Jones beat Hopkins in 1993, and a rematch with Hopkins was considered the only reputable fight left for Jones.

Jones was born January 16, 1969 and hails from Pensacola, Florida.

Name: Roy Jones, Jr.
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Age: 33
Hometown: Pensacola, Florida
Record: 46-1-37
sfc's Lt. Heavyweight Ranking: 2nd
sfc's Pound for Pound Ranking: 4th (behind Bernard Hopkins)

Available Bio: It seems that Roy Jones, Jr. was basically born, and then he boxed. He was already in the ring at the age of ten beating up on the local 14 year olds.

Personality, etc.: Roy Jones, Jr. is a pretty well rounded guy. Besides Boxing, Roy has appeared in a professional basketball match (he defeated tough Canadian Eric Lucas that night in the ring), will appear in The Matrix Reloaded, produced his own rap album and even promotes himself. Jones doesn't mind telling everyone who he thinks the greatest boxer in the world is.

Important Fights:

Amateur: Jones had a great amateur career and appeared in the 1998 Olympics. Many people felt he was robbed when he lost a 3-2 decision to Si-Hun Park, leaving Jones with only a silver medal.

vs. Bernard Hopkins: Roy Jones, Jr. won his first title in 1993 at middleweight by outpointing Bernard Hopkins, even though he injured his hand.

vs. James "Lights Out" Toney: Jones captured his second belt in 1994 at Super Middleweight as the underdog. Toney was considered one of the best in the world, but Jones would win the decision.

vs. Mike McCallum: Jones moved up to Lt. Heavyweight and in 1995 beat McCallum on points to gain the WBC Championship belt.

vs. Montell Griffin I & II: The only blemish on Jones' record came in March 1996. In the ninth round of the fight Jones knocked Griffin to the ground with a punch but then landed a devastating blow after Griffin was on the ground. The referee, who was slightly to blame, awarded the dazed Griffin the win by DQ. In their 1997 rematch Jones quickly dispatched Griffin in the first round.

vs. Lou De Valle: In 1998 Jones beat De Valle on points to secure the WBA belt at Lt. Heavyweight.

vs. Everybody Else: Since then Jones' opponents at Lt. Heavyweight have been a veritable "who's who" of Boxing including Reggie Johnson, David Telesco, Eric Harding, Derrick Harmon and Julio Gonzalez. These are all great Lt. Heavyweights who couldn't handle Roy Jones, Jr.

vs. John Ruiz: Roy finally found a way to silence his critics. On March 1, 2003 he stepped into the ring with WBA Heavyweight Champion John Ruiz. There is precedence for a former Middleweight Champ moving up to the Heavies, but not for one winning. Jones set that precedent by completely outboxing and sometimes even hurting Ruiz over 12 rounds. Ruiz wasn't the "real" Heavy champ though, but still this was very impressive.

vs. Antonio Tarver I: After completing the amazing task of defeating a Heavyweight champ Jones found himself being harrassed by L. Heavy Champ Antonio Tarver in the press conference. He agreed to the fight Tarver and dropped back down in weight. On Nov. 8, 2003 he fought Tarver in what was an amazingly close fight. Jones seemed to have no energy and Tarver took advantage. This is the first time Roy ever struggled and handled it well. He came on late in the fight and won the close decision.

vs. Antonio Tarver II: Jones agreed to a rematch in order to set things straight and get a definite win over Tarver. When the ref asked if there were any questions, Tarver quickly asked "You got any excuses this time, Roy?!" This outburst will now become part of boxing history. On May 15, 2004 in the second round Roy Jones, the best fighter in the last 10 years and possibly ever, was knocked out by Antonio Tarver. Tarver landed a "perfect punch" that sent Roy's head under the ropes. Roy struggled getting up and at 9 was on his feet but fell into the ropes and ref Jay Nady stopped the fight.

Pros

A Boxer with Power: Roy Jones, Jr. has shown that he has the rare combination of exceptional Boxing skill with the power of a Slugger. This makes Jones a favorite against anyone of comparable size.

Cons

Until Tarver none. Tarver's trainer, Buddy McGirt, explained the strategy used against Roy. Most of Roy's opponents cover up when he attacks because of his great hand speed. The simple strategy is to punch WITH Roy, and to not wait for him to stop attacking.

Future

Roy is still in good shape, but his career is almost over. He has indicated that he will not face Tarver a third time but is interested in moving back to Heavyweight. The Heavyweight division is a complete mess right now and Jones has a chance at becoming the true Heavyweight champ. To do so he will definitely have to face the huge (250 lb) Vitaly Klitschko who nearly defeated Lennox Lewis (retired).

The loss to Tarver doesn't change Roy's historical significance. It's almost inevitable that a boxer will eventually get knocked out. Jones has just enough time left in his career to nullify that loss by overshadowing it at Heavyweight.

Or, as the boxing saying goes, "He got old in one fight"...

Last Updated: May 28, 2004

Sources:
HBO's World Championship Boxing
http://www.ipcress.com/box/jones.html
http://www.hbo.com/boxing/heart/jones/index.shtml
royjonesjr.com http://www.boxrec.com

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