Roy Jones Jr: The longer the fight goes the better

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.

Results from Rosarito, Mexico
Christy Martin Promotions returns Aug 15th

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  • Actually think Mr Tyson is a lot fitter thank people realise.
    Just hope you dont get brain damage Roy !!

    • After the brutal and unnecessary knockouts he has suffered – against opponents he would have toyed with in his prime – Roy already has less than prime brain functioning. Sad that Roy let that happen to him and he better be lucky and hope not to be on the receiving end of a Tyson bomb because a hospital visit will surely be the result.

      • That’s why I applaud Dr. Riordan for his stem cell therapy in Panama City, Panama. Mike has received them. Maybe Roy will NEED them . But we will hope and pray for the best outcome.

  • Did I miss something? This is supposed to be an exhibition, right? Are they promoting this like it’s an all out war to sucker us into buying it?

    • I don’t like this fight for a lot of reasons man. They both gave their word to the athletic commission that they would not go for knockouts, and more importantly the ref can stop it if it gets too serious. Plus, you have to consider the liability to the commission. They would never license 2 fifty somethings with a lot of mileage for a professional fight, so for them to let this get out of hand is incredibly stupid. If one were to get injured, they’d undoubtedly get sued.

      So either it’s sucker hype or we are seeing a fight between two 50 somethings (one of whom may have very different expectations than the other). It almost feels irresponsible of me to root for a full out fight because of their safety or I get to watch a sparring session, and even if it does happen, what are we getting here?

      It’s largely a no win situation. I just feel like if THIS is the best boxing has to offer this year, Covid has accelerated a negative trend enough to make boxing people a little uncomfortable about the future.

      The biggest winner here may be Triller. They got 200 million in funding and paid 50 for this fight (plus even got some TikTok stars to come over, even though I don’t know one TikTok star). My assumption is they saw this whole ban coming and doubled down at the right time.

    • I doubt Tyson can pull punches if he tried. Tyson has always been the full-throttle type. Routinely knocking sparring partners out the ring. Roy knows this and must be prepared.

      • Yes, but Mike might be more focused on body punches in this fight, instead of headshots. I can see Mike putting Roy to the canvas with a nice body shot perhaps.

    • Of course it’s an exhibition and I’m not falling for the okie doke. And I’m not paying ppv for this farce.

  • What are we doing here? Either we are watching an exhibition or we are watching 2 50 something year olds with a lot of professional mileage potentially due horrible damage to one another for no real reason insofar as boxing supremacy. I don’t see how I can feel good about this fight.

  • Jones jr. forgot to mention the year 2003 for that game plan agains Tyson, when both were about to go downhill in a fast pace.
    Lets be real, this will be just a sparring-exhibition affair with 10 onz. gloves under strict regulation of no harm inflicted. Also, both know this is a splendid and safe way to earn money, where more contests will take place in the near future. Used to watch real boxing matchs, this is not something to get excited

    • I am not a fan of this scrap because they are old lions stepping out the legendary, cool shade of HOF credentials. Jones better realize Tyson is looking to rekindle his career for a few more big money fights, and Tyson will try to present himself as a viable fighter/product by performing CPR on his previous KO punching skills – CUIDADO ROY!!

    • You know better than that-look how many paid to watch the scripted Mayweather-McGregor circus act.

  • I like both Roy and Mike. Roy is smarter though because he’ll use his legs and stay away from Mike for 2 or 3 rounds. By then Mike will be gassed since we all know he’ll be swagging like the old Mike, forgetting he’s 54. The more he misses, the more he’ll slow down. Yes its just supposed to be 2 legends putting on a show for 8 rounds, but with the pride will still come out. It’ll be more then just a light sparring session like some think. Roy by decision is my prediction. It’ll be fun either way.

  • By the way, Mike could catch him and we know the ending! I do think they’ll take care of each other for the most part.

  • Does it really matter about how prepared he will he and how he will box him when it is supposed to be an exhibition match and the commission will stop it as soon as they see that they are going hard? They can both come in fat and out of shape. It’s not supposed to be a real fight.

  • Roy ISNT a boxer. Is a reflex fighter like Ali. Soon as those reflexes go, game over. He’s going to get hurt. Tyson has the set, repetition type training over his life.

    • I have always said that myself, but I would give him more credit as a boxer, he is an Olympian after all. I originally thought he would easily beat Tyson, but another poster reminded me of the brutal KO’s he suffered against Macrarinelli and Lebedev. I still think he’ll beat Tyson (whatever that really means in an exhibition) because I think he still has enough left to outmaneuver Tyson and avoid his bombs. I know Tyson is looking awesome physically and on the mitts, but I think people will be very surprised to see how unfit he is for the ring. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tyson pulls out. I think Roy knows what he’s getting into, Tyson needs to be reminded.

    • @ Tim-Same thing goes for anybody who takes the time to post about it. And yes-I do need to have my head examined!

  • I think this is a real fight that was not intended to be a real fight! Tyson has too much pride to allow a smaller man to beat up on him knowing that he can easily end it with one of his many bombs. I know they will stop the fight if Roy gets shaken up for his own safety. Makes sense.

  • Well, I guess being a Russian lover is better than being a communist China lover, like the MLB, NBA and the NFL are these days. Boxing is the only sport I have left to watch now, all the other sports leagues are polluted with dumb “group think” mentality millionaire athletes.

  • For me, I am interested in READING how this goes but not WATCHING how it goes since I would have to pay.

  • For some reason I never knew Jones Sr fought Hagler. In all the stories about a tough childhood and being intimidated by his father I dont remember reading that. Now I see the record on boxrec.

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