Interview With Roy Jones Jr & Roy Jones Sr
How does Boxing compare to MMA? ROY JONES JR: Not only do we have to learn the respect for the game, but we have to have respect for hand-to-hand combat because that is very similar to going to war to me. We have soldiers over there now that are fighting for our freedom and their lives are on the line. Every time a fighter goes into the ring to fight another fighter, his life is on the line whether it is MMA or boxing. Even though he is just boxing, his life is still on the line. To me, I just want to close that bridge that the two sports need to be against each other, because they donít..
Article posted on 13.03.2009
You are the first big-name boxer to go towards MMA...
ROY JONES JR: I have been one of the few people in boxing that have embraced things first all the time. I am one of the first in boxing the started doing things on my own, my own way. I do understand that Iím the first to do that.
Letís not look at the Roy Jones, letís not look at the Ken Shamrocks or the Bobby Lashleys. Letís look at the kids on the streets nowadays.
Say if yours or my kid would go out to places to have a good time. Say f they get into a problem and they get into a fight. They say, Ďall right, we are going to disagree and we are going to fight. May the best man win and we can go on homeí My son will come home OK whether he won or lost. And you learn a lesson from that fight. But nowadays itís not like that. Guys donít want to fight fair. They want to jump somebody with gangs and have weapons and guns. So now itís dangerous for our kids to go anywhere because it could escalate at any time and someone could get killed. Itís horrible because we donít have respect for a street fight anymore.
People talk about being a man but they are not truly being what a man is supposed to be. A man is supposed to go out and something or lose something every time. He is going to fight every time and accept defeat as well as he could accept victory. If he canít then there is something wrong with him.
How does it compare to get to the top?
ROY JONES JR: You can rise to the top quicker in MMA than you can in boxing. There is more skill in boxing because it is a one-dimensional fight. It is definitely harder to rise to the top in boxing than it is in MMA. But you are still going into the ring, face to face, man-to-man and putting your life on the line. You canít take away that fact.
What will the bout order be?
ROY JONES JR: We are going to mix them up till the main event fight. Weíll do an MMA event then a boxing match then an MMA fight then a boxing match.
What about Omar Sheika?
ROY JONES JR: Sheika is a tough competitor. He was one of ESPNís top guys for a long time because he always has interesting fights. He comes to fight every time. He fights off the able and he even beat a guy that beat me. He beat Glen Johnson. If I canít get Glen Johnson right now, Iíll take the next best thing Ė Omar Sheika.
Do you want Johnson again?
ROY JONES JR: Most Definitely.
How is training going?
ROY JONES JR: Training is going wonderful. Iím feeling good. I never thought Iíd be the baddest thing walking around at 40 years old but I am still the baddest. And I still look good on top of it. Thatís what really surprised me. I didnít think I would stay this cute for this long.
Will you promote MMA only cards?
ROY JONES JR: We have an all MMA card next month. I donít know (whoís on it) right now. I can tell you about it after this fight. Right now I am focusing on Omar Sheika because he is a wonderful fighter and heís a hard puncher. But my guys know more about it right now.
ROY JONES JR: We have an all MMA card in Ft. Lauderdale this Saturday. Itís our first. Get our feet wet.
How do you think Omarís career has gone?
ROY JONES JR: Omar probably had a lot of decisions in his career that affected him greatly and that happens to a lot of fighters.
Your dadís place in the corner on fight night?
ROY JONES JR: Heíll be my guy and Merk will be my chief second and weíll go from there. Theyíll both be giving me instructions that night.
Why did you bring your dad in?
ROY JONES JR: I needed a tune-up. I needed an overhaul. And the only person that can do that is the person that taught me.
What kind of relationship do you have?
ROY JONES JR: Our relationship is very unique that he is my dad and I am his son. He can either stand back and watch or come in and help. I am never against the help, but if you donít want to help I can respect that too. I respect that but he is my dad and if he wants to come in and help he can do that too. If he didnít want to help, I wouldnít be mad.
What is the difference between the two and why would you bring your dad in?
ROY JONES JR: They were two different boxers and they have two totally opposite styles. My dadís style is basically my foundation and thatís where Iíve been lacking in my foundation. Things that I havenít been doing a lot lately because I got away from my foundation and I need to catch up on that. Merk, on the other hand has added a lot of things to my game that I needed as I got older and I had to move on. I couldnít stay with what I had when I was young. I had to move on. They both have their own styles that are pretty good for me.
What is the long-range plan?
ROY JONES JR: As long as I look good, feel good, Iíll be fightinnnng.
Have any MMA guys come to you for training help?
ROY JONES JR: Not yet but if they do I would be glad to teach them.
Calzaghe fight Ė your dad said in an interview you were not mentally prepared?
ROY JONES JR: Youíll have to ask my dad what he meant about that. But in the Calzaghe fight, I lost my focus like I did after I dropped him in the first round. I was trying to go in and get him out or I should have stuck to my game plan and that was to box. I tried to him hard early because I wanted to take him out and that got me off my game plan . Now I have to change my focus from being a knockout artist and to go back to boxing and having a good time. That is going to be a change for me but I donít know what he is talking about. Youíll have to go ask him.
What happens after Sheika, do you have anyone in mind?
ROY JONES JR: No. Whatever comes up happens.
How did the cut affect you in the Calzaghe fight?
ROY JONES JR: They couldnít stop the bleeding and that was the hardest thing for me. I knew the guys was getting ahead of me by a few rounds but they couldnít stop the bleeding so it didnít give me much of a chance.
Will you keep the same cut man?
ROY JONES JR: We do have a different cut man. I donít know his same but we got a new one. I donít like to change but my people decided that there was a majority rule and of there is a majority rule then I have to go with it.
How did the blood affect you?
ROY JONES JR: It affected me totally man because I couldnít even see. I donít mind the blood. I was in great shape. I had to be in great shape to go 12-rounds, but the blood was affecting my sight and I would have been able to get to him better.
How is the public taking to this fight?
ROY JONES JR: I donít know right now. I am training. I just do what I do and hope it goes well.
Would you fight Anderson Silva?
ROY JONES JR: Most definitely. I told you that a long time ago. I respect any man that goes in the ring and puts his life on the line against another man. Weíve had a few talks but right now he is in a situation that heís in. I canít tell him to go out of the situation. He has to work with them right now. When he gets out of the situation, Iíll do what I can do.
ROY JONES JR: MMA fights sometimes end quicker than you want them to. A lot of times people will be wishing there were more fights on the card because they end so quick. In boxing, you get a little bit of both. You get a little quick and you get a little slow down.
Roy Jones, Jr.ís Dad is Back in Camp Once Again
Roy Jones Jr., Eight-Time World Champion, returns to Pensacola to fight for the first time since January 1999 when he battles Omar Sheika at the Pensacola Civic Center on Saturday, March 21, 2009. The fight card, which includes a bevy of Mixed Martial Arts stars, will also feature a cruiserweight match-up between undefeated B.J. Flores against Jose Luis Herrera. The event is being promoted by Square Ring Promotions in association with Hirsch Borao Boxing and the Pensacola Civic Center and will be broadcast live on pay-per-view.
How did this come about?
BIG ROY: Roy asked me to come and help him in camp so I said sure. It was about 6 weeks ago.
What do you think about Omar Sheika?
BIG ROY: I think Sheika is a pretty good fighter. Heís crafty and he is strong. I think heís a fighter that you really need to prepare for.
How does Roy look compared to past fights?
BIG ROY: To me, Roy looks good. I havenít been in camp with him for a long time. He seems to pushing it a little bit in camp. Dedicating him more to training. Heís working hard and I know that.
The last time you were in camp was the third Tarver fight, how does this camp compare?
BIG ROY: Iím sure of it. In the Tarver fight we only had two weeks. This time we had a little bit more time so we got a little bit more involved. And push him a little bit more. This is really all about what Roy thinks and about him continuing his career. He really hasnít lost anything but a little confidence. He has maintained his skills; just a little tweak here and there will make all the difference in the world. I think now he understands he needs to maintain his skills and not spread himself too thin. You will see a little better performance from him.
BIG ROY: I only pay attention to his confidence when he is sparring. I didnít see him before the Calzaghe fight so I donít know. I canít do the comparisons but right now I know he is pushing himself so he should be a little more productive. He needs to elevate his skill levels.
Who is the head trainer in the gym?
BIG ROY: Merk is there but I donít pay attention to all of that. I just play to role that he asks me. It's to help him. I am not concerned about anybody else but him. I work in my own gym with Roy. Itís my gym in the afternoon and Royís gym in the evening. I go to the gym to prepare him for the fight. I work with him in both places.
Who will be lead trainer in the corner?
BIG ROY: I havenít really thought about it. As far as I am concerned it can be Merkerson. I donít care about that. I am only concerned about getting him ready. He can take anybody into the corner that he wants. I just want him to be prepared and be ready.
What is his motivation?
BIG ROY: I think Roy has come to the realization that boxing is what he is. Thatís what made him. For a short period of time he got off track with that. Everyone knows Roy as a boxer, not a rapper and he has come to the realization of that. Now donít get me wrong, I think that being pound-for-pound and world champion means a lot to him also because he is used to being at the top of the heap. He had been that for so many years that it does play a role in his motivation to continue this thing. I never ask him about his business. I love him and heís my son and everything but I never intervene or interfere with anything in his personal business. If he doesnít ask me, I donít say anything on any part of his life.
What did you think about the Calzaghe fight?
BIG ROY: I couldnít see if he was making any tactical mistakes. It just looked like to me he wasnít mentally ready for that fight. I donít think he prepared for Joe Calzaghe. At this point in time, especially in his career due to the point he has been champion and all, and he didnít train right. Heíd been doing a lot more than heíd normally been doing as far as his condition was concerned. He was in shape but I donít think he was mentally there. He did not mentally prepare to fight Joe Calzaghe.
BIG ROY: Roy always had that edge. He worked hard and he was mentally tough. Over the years, he just didnít seem to prepare in the fashion to maintain. Roy looks like heís twenty-five at times.
Do you have any regrets missing parts of his career?
BIG ROY: I have no regrets over any portion of that. I was always a part of it in a sense. I always watched it so I never did really miss it. Sometimes youíve just got to let him go and do it. I canít live his life for him. If I could I wouldnít because there wouldnít be anything for me to be proud of. I donít have any regrets. It was his decision and whatever way he decides was up to him.
Did you resolve your problems with Roy Jr.?
BIG ROY: The only time is when it came to the media that it was said we had a problem with our personal relationship. We never had a bad personal relationship. Iíve always allowed him to be the person that he is. When he got grown I stood back and watched. Either way it goes I had my eyes on him. When he became a man I had to treat him like a man. I just had to remind him of the consequences. I am proud of Roy and he made his decision and that was his decision.
BIG ROY: When Roy was pound-for-pound, he had skills that were unorthodox because they didnít understand it. But nowadays so many fighters are mimicking him. But now he doesnít have that edge that he had because he let his skills diminish. Physically you know he is in the decline because he is aging. That was always the most extraordinary thing about him was his skills.
BIG ROY: He has to be pushed and to exceed his limitations. You train hard in the gym to make the fight a lot easier. Fights are won and lost in the gym and you canít ever ignore that. The harder you work in the gym is going to make it easier in the gym. Thatís the thing that will bring his confidence back Ė to put pressure on him in the gym. It took years to get it now it will take a little time to get it back.
In Memphis after the last Tarver fight, he said he didnít want to give you the credit if he won the fight, so he lost. What do you think about that?
BIG ROY: I am his father and he is my kid. Regardless of what he says, he is still my kid. Sometimes he might not know what to say or he may be looking for someone to blame. A father is meant to be blamed. So if I can help him that way also, I will because he is my kid. He is still my younginí and I am still his father so any way I can help him. If it means me putting blame on me then I will help him.
What do you think Royís end game is?
BIG ROY: I truly donít what the end game is. All I can do is recommend things to him. I will tell him what I think whether he wants to hear it or not. But if he asks me for my help in something then thatís what I am going to give him. Right now in this time, he can still do this. But he must prepare mentally and physically to do this. He realized this.
BIG ROY: I will tell him, point blank, that if I donít think and it appears to me in any kind of way. Him getting hurt, I most certainly donít want that to happen. He has a legacy that heís going to leave and I donít want it to affect that at all. If it comes that time, whether it is because of his age or his training, I will tell him.
If he loses to Sheika, will you tell him that?
BIG ROY: Probably. It all depends on why he loses. If I feel that it is necessary to tell him that, and in my opinion and Iím not saying Iím an expert or anything like that, I would tell him that. Whether he would want to hear it or not, Iíll be the first to tell him.
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