By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Ring legend Roy Jones Jr. spoke to Peter Maniatis about his September 12 showdown with Mike Tyson and tactics he will use. Roy also praised Teofimo Lopez, who he believes could be boxing’s next superstar. Roy also talks about becoming a Russian Citizen and meeting Vladimir Putin, why he’s is grateful to his father. He also revealed that he will be releasing a new record two weeks before he will clash with Mike Tyson.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” said Roy. “I was just so glad so delighted that (Mike Tyson) chose me as the opponent he wanted to face. I wanted to fight Mike back when I won the heavyweight title back in 2003 but it was never going to happen – but he was the only guy I would have stayed for in the heavyweights to face.
“So when they came and called for me this time, I said ‘man, it’s a crazy time but people strictly in their house now, they really cannot go far so people want entertainment because we don’t have a lot of sports going on so this is a perfect time for it.’
“I’m just going to box him (Tyson) at first. Stay away from him from that early onslaught. That’s when he will be most dangerous. For the first two or three rounds. After that, I should be able to take over as I have been active and he hasn’t been active. The longer the fight goes the better is for me the worse it is for him.
“So I will just come out and box early – keep my distance. If I keep my distance, the safer it will be for me but at the end of the day where at some point I will have to engage and put the pressure on him. Once I get past that early storm I will have my chance.
“My father has been a massive part of my career. He is doing good. Times change – you go through different things – so it is what it is. He had a fight with (Marvin) Hagler. He went pretty good I guess but I never got to see it. I guess it was competitive until he got cut. That was pretty much for him but he did pass on the skills and passed a lot of things down which I used to take myself to the top of the boxing world. So I am always grateful to him for that.
“During my boxing career, so many people knew me from the Olympics when I got robbed for the gold medal. I was in Russia doing business and I was asked why don’t I become a citizen of Russia. They said they love you so much in Russia. I said ‘why not? That’s a good idea.’ They put me in touch with Vladimir Putin. I asked and I have been loving it ever since.
“I am still involved in the music industry and will have a song coming out before the (Mike Tyson) fight. Actually probably a couple of weeks before the fight. I can’t wait.
“The fight will pretty much be in an empty stadium but if you can’t get motivated for Mike Tyson that means you cannot get motivated. I don’t care who you are. If you know you’re going to share the ring with Mike Tyson and that does not motivate you, there is something wrong with you.
“If Teofimo Lopez is the winner of the Lomanchenko-Lopez fight he will become an immediate pay-per-view star I think. I think he is the next big thing in boxing. He will have a hard test against Lomanchenko as he is my number two or three for the best pound for pound boxers. Between him, Crawford and Canelo. If Lopez can pull an upset, he will be the next guy on the market to be the pound for pound pay-per-view star because he has all the attributes, explosiveness and everything else. Devin Haney is another good fighter who has all the attributes, speed, power and finesse – so we will see.
“I hope you all tune in to the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Fight. It’s going to be a great night. Two of the most exciting people to be in the boxing ring in the last four decades. It will be one of the best nights ever. I am looking forward to it and thank you all for your support. I cannot wait until I get back “ Down Under.”
* * *
Roy Jones Jr. will be visiting Australia when the coronavirus pandemic traveling restrictions are lifted and will be appearing with former WBC featherweight champion Sharon Anyos in seminars on the Health of Men and Women.