Roy Jones Junior: ďI canít wait to get to get back in the ring and get to fight Tarver againóheís on my Christmas wish list!Ē
by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This weekís 152nd edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with former four-division champion Roy Jones Junior (54-8, 40 KOs), who is scheduled to face former Contender star Max Alexander (14-5-2, 2 KOs) tonight at the Civic Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Jones spoke about his upcoming fight, talked about his future plans, and also shared his opinion on a variety of topics pertaining to the current boxing landscape, including Manny Pacquiaoís controversial win against Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Junior, Nonito Donaire, the Klitschko brothers and the current heavyweight landscape, and the possibility of a fourth fight against long time rival Antonio Tarver.
Article posted on 10.12.2011
Fans can order the Jones-Alexander fight TONIGHT on pay-per-view for just $9.99 at www.ustream.tv/royjones - the action begins at 7:00pm EST.
Here is a complete transcript from that interview:
JENNA J: Speaking of Hall of Famers, our next guest is a fighter that will no doubt get elected the first time heís on the ballot. Heís making his second appearance to On the Ropes. He is a four-division champion, at 160 pounds, 168, 175, and heavyweight. We are once again joined by ďSupermanĒ himself, Roy Jones Junior! Welcome back to On the Ropes! How are you doing today?
ROY JONES JUNIOR: I feel good! I feel wonderful. Seriously Iíve been feeling a little better than in the last four or five years. I feel pretty good. Iím very enthusiastic about the return. I kind of canít wait to get in there and see how my skills look to myself, because this is my first time working with the new trainer Iím working with and me him have worked out pretty good and things are feeling good. So I want to see if it looks as good as it feels for real.
JENNA: Alright. So Roy, at this point in your career why are you still fighting? Do you still feel that you have things that you can prove?
JONES: Oh yeah! I definitely got things I can prove. I got things I could do! Not just prove, I got things I can do! I love boxing. I enjoy boxing. Iím still one of the best ever so why stop when I ainít got to? You know when I have to Iíll stop, but I donít have to. So why stop?
JENNA: Okay, well letís talk about the opponent you have in front of you. Youíll be fighting this bout at cruiserweight against Max Alexander. Heís a fighter with a 14-5 record, but heís been in a bit of a rough patch having been winless in his last six. What are you expecting from him?
JONES: I donít know. I mean I donít know much about him and I really ainít concerned about him because heís not my worry right now. Right now I got to worry about trying to get Roy back right. So I really didnít come in the fight worrying about him, or what he can do, or doesnít do. I donít care what he does! If everything works out like itís been working out for me in training, it wonít matter what he does. So Iím learning to take a different approach, because a lot of times you look at guys and you see things or you think you see things, and when you fight them it might not turn out the way you had seen as a way to beat them. For example in my last fight I went to Moscow and I fought a guy who looked like one guy on tape, but when I got in the ring with him he was kind of another guy. So like when you looked at him, he didnít look like there was all too much to him, but he turned out to be a little bit more than I thought he was. So you canít look at guys. The first time you look at guys on film it kind of gives you a false illusion. So I didnít look at Max on purpose because I want to prepare and see whatís changed up in me. I made an improvement and I want to see.
JENNA: Now Roy you mentioned your previous bout. You fought against Denis Lebedev. You were actually a heavy underdog, and you did better than people thought until the final round.
JENNA: Can you tell us about that round? It appeared you actually knocked Lebedev down because the ropes held him up. Then all of a sudden you found yourself in a situation at the end. So what happened there?
JONES: Yep. Yep! I thought that should have been a knockdown. Had it been a knockdown that would have probably bought me a little time to get through the round, but you know, as good as I am I donít need enough time for rounds. Itís like I said, when you look at a guy if he doesnít pose a threat to you sometimes you donít prepare the way you should. I feel I didnít take him as a threat and so I probably didnít really put it to him as much as I should have put it to him. But right now Iím at a point where you got to go or you got to be ready to go. So I love being in this position. I love my back being against the wall, where you get people trying to say this ainít going to happen and that ainít going to happen. I love all of that! Iím right in the right place and Iím doing exactly what Iím supposed to be doing! Thatís who I am, the way I loved it at first. Thatís how I came to the game, by loving it first and dealing with it first. So I canít wait!
JENNA: Alright now Roy, you mentioned before, you said you need ďto get Roy backĒ. You need to get Roy situated. Thatís what youíre worried about. What do you think you werenít doing in previous years that youíre doing now that will help you?
JONES: Just dedicating myself to the gym, and when I say dedicating myself to the gym I mean physically, and mentally, and emotionally! I would dedicate myself physically, but at the same time, emotionally I wasnít all that dedicated. Of course I was there, but my mind wasnít there working like Iím used to working. I was usually working on tricks or working on something, and lately, itís like you know what? I would just go and I go put the work in, but I ainít working on anything. So when I would get into a fight, I ainít got nothing to try and do, nothing to try to prove, nothing to try to show the fans, so itís like I become bored because thatís not my style. My style is, look! Go out there and give them something! And if I ainít doing that then I ainít Roy! So Iím going to go out there and try to get back to being Roy.
JENNA:Okay! Well Roy, weíre also on the line with my Co-Host Geoff Ciani.
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hey Roy! Itís a great pleasure to have you back on the show.
JONES: Hey thank you, buddy. I appreciate that. I love being on the show and I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to talk to you and reach out to the fans.
CIANI: Thanks. Now Roy, I wanted to ask youóyouíve done a lot of commentating in the later half of this year, and youíve commentated some really good fights, and Iím wondering from your perspective as an announcer, which fight did you most enjoy calling through the later part of this year?
JONES: Without a doubt, James Kirkland and Angulo! For all the fights Iíve called in years, what a war!
CIANI: During that fight, and that was a hell of a fight, what were you thinking when Kirkland went down in the first round. Did you think it was going to be a repeat of his fight with Ishida?
JONES: Actually, I didnít! I thought that kind of at first, but I saw how hard Angulo was going at him, and I said, ďIf Angulo is not careful here heís going to punch himself out!Ē And thatís exactly what he did, and when that happened, oh my goodness!
CIANI: Roy, you reigned as Pound-for-Pound King for an extremely long period of time. When you look out there today, there are two guys that are normally looked at as the two best in the sport todayóPacquiao and Mayweather. What is your view on the top of the pound-for-pound charts in the present day?
JONES: Well my view is you got a 1a and 1b and a very close 2 who can really be a 1, too. Iím going to tell you right now, and I know how everybody feels and everybodyís talking about it and heís from my era. I have to give an edge to Mayweather right now, then following Mayweather Iíd say 1b has to be Manny Pacquiao, because of how forceful heís been lately and the way heís dealing with it. But, Marquez did show a chink in his armor, but only because Marquez has the perfect style for him. So you canít take away his style based on that one fight. But right at #2 is going to have to be Nonito Donaire, ďThe Filipino FlashĒ himself!
CIANI: You brought up the Marquez fight, and a lot of fans felt Marquez deserved to win that fight. Iím curious what your views are on that fight. Like you said, styles make fights, but in this particular one did you think Pacquiao did enough to win?
JONES: Well, I thought he did enough for a draw. I didnít think he lost. I didnít think he won. I thought he did enough for a draw being that he was champion. On a full fledge fight scene, the way I look at that is if you take the title out of the equation and take their fights from the bottom, theyíre right! He does deserve one! Because they gave Pacquiao a close one, they called a close one a draw, and itís time they give him one because all of them are always pretty close. So why doesnít he get one this time? He did deserve one. I agree with the fans on that, because it was another close one. It was just as close as the last two were. So why donít you give him one? Give him one. I can agree with them on that. However, on that particular night the way I looked at it, I still called it a draw.
CIANI: Now Roy, with Floyd Mayweather Junior, his last fight was also controversial amongst some of the fans because they viewed what he did to Victor Ortiz as a cheap shot and something that was a bit unsportsmanlike. Iím curious what you thought of Floydís performance in that fight, and whether you think there is any validity to the fact that a lot of fans were disappointed and they thought it ended with kind of a cheap shot?
JONES: Well Iím just speaking like I see it, because you never know how a guy feels at the time. So Floyd was standing in there, and when the guy cheap shotted Floyd, Floyd said, ďYou know what? Youíre going to cheap shot? Iíll cheap shot you back!Ē And thatís just how Floyd works. You know thatís what Floyd thought, so I canít say Iím not going to call it the way people saw that. It never went down that way. However, me? Being a champion and being the guy everybody is looking at, I wouldnít have took that shot that way because to me, what Ortiz did was a gesture of showing heís frustrated and he canít win. So if I got him where I want him, I got him frustrated, I got him feeling like he canít win, there is no need to cheap shot him. Just go in there and finish him off. You feel me?
CIANI: Yep. Now do you think Roy that weíre any closer to seeing that fight between Floyd and Pacquiao in 2012?
JONES: I think weíre actually further away from seeing it now. I think weíre further away from seeing it now.
CIANI: Now why is that?
JONES: Well, because if you look at it Pacquiao showed a lot of vulnerabilities in his last fight against Marquez. See, when Marquez when up to 47 and fought Floyd, Floyd basically just did it very easily and made it look like a sparring session. The reason is because Floyd and Marquez are basically two of the same kind of fighters, except that Floyd is a little bit bigger, a little bit faster, and a little bit as a counter puncher. Do you understand where Iím coming from? So really Floyd is just a better, bigger Marquez. Now we donít know if Floyd can take the punch that Marquez can take because we havenít seen Pacquiao hit him yet. But other than that, the way you look at it Floyd is a bigger version and a quicker version of Marquez. Thatís what I would call the general perception of the fight. So thatís why now theyíre saying, maybe we better slow this down and move Pacquiao back in there with Marquez. Donít get me wrong! You canít take anything away from Pacquiao either. But if Marquez goes out there and takes more gambles, which if he took he probably would have won the fight if he didnít get knocked out, and make it a different fight anything can happen. So I ainít saying that Pacquiao doesnít have what it takes against those style fighters. Iím just saying that the style Marquez used makes it very difficult for Pacquiao. With that being said, Floyd should be even more difficult because his style is very similar to Marquezís style.
CIANI: Roy, changing things up here a little bit, your name is one that often comes up in boxing message boards in a lot of fantasy fights. And one of the mythical fights that I see your name involved in a lot is a fight with you at 160 pounds against Marvin Hagler at his best at 160 pounds. That we have you on, I just want to ask youóhow do you think you would have fared at 160 against a prime Marvin Hagler and what do you think the keys to victory would be for you in such a fight?
JONES: At 160 with a prime Marvin Hagler, I got to tell you the truth. I thought Marvelous was a terrific fighter, a very crafty sportsman, and a very tough guy. However, heís a little bit slower than average, which is what Sugar used against him. And to me, I think I may have been a little bit faster than Sugar was. Now at 160 I had moved all the way up to heavyweight, so I was taking punches very well. I didnít have any problems or any issues. I probably would have been a lot bigger than Marvin at 160 actually, because when I was at 160 I was pretty big for a middleweight. So I think I would just use my feet and my hand-speed, and just basically outbox Marvin. And if I ever got a chance I would go for the knockout, but Marvin takes a hell of a punch! So I couldnít guarantee I would knock him out. I donít know that. But I definitely would have found my shots and took my chances.
JENNA: Alright now Roy, since weíre back on the subject of you, you have this run coming up that you hope to have starting with Max Alexander. If you feel the way that you want to feel, and you come out of the fight the way that you want to, what are you hoping to obtain during this final run of your career?
JONES: Look out cruiserweight division! Here I come!
JENNA: So you plan to compete up there at cruiserweight and get the championship belt, the one that you skipped?
JONES: Exactly! You better believe it. I ainít changing nothing. Iím staying right at cruiserweight and thatís where Iím going to be and get a belt.
JENNA: Okay, now what do you think of the champions that are at this weight class now? You got Marco Huck, Guillermo Jones, you got a guy named Hernandez. What do you think of the champions that are there right now?
JONES: There are some pretty good champions and some pretty impressive champs! Iíve been pretty impressed with them lately, but I donít care. If thatís what I got to deal with, thatís what I got to deal with. You know what Iím saying? You got to go where you got to go, and I want it! So if thatís what I got to do, thatís what I got to do.
JENNA: Now do you see yourself at all wanting to have a rematch with another guy thatís got a belt, and that would be Antonio Tarver. Heís the IBO champion. Do you have any interest in a fourth fight with him?
JONES: I have a whole lot of interest in a fourth fight with Tarver, a whole ton of interest in a fourth fight with him! See, heís another guy. His situation is kind of like the Pacquiao-Marquez situation. His style will always be a hard style to be matching with my style. The only thing is this time my style is a little different, so that will make for a better fight this time. I canít wait to get to get back in the ring and get to fight Tarver againóheís on my Christmas wish list!
JENNA: (laughs) But what do you think you would do differently in a fourth fight?
JONES: I ainít going to tell you! Heís going to be aware of it if I tell you! I canít tell you! I can show you, but Iím not going to tell you. Thatís all Iím going to say.
JENNA: Alright, well thatís fair enough Roy! Thatís fair enough. Alright well letís continue on with a few more questions before we let you off the line here. I just want to get your opinion on a division you briefly reigned in, and that was heavyweight. Right now they have the Klitschko brothersóWladimir and Vitalióand no one else seems to be able to touch them. Do you think anyone will come up to challenge them in the next coming year?
JONES: I wish you wouldnít have asked me that question, because Iím trying to stay away from them because theyíre too big and I donít want be trying to beat them myself because theyíre pretty big guys, but every time somebody asks me about them, it just really pisses me off and makes me want to be that one thatís going to step up to beat them! Because I ainít scared of them and I know one of them doesnít have the strongest chin, and thatís the one I would be aiming for. So I mean itís like I donít like talking about them because it pisses me off that we donít have a United States champion as a heavyweight, and I was a former heavyweight champion. So saying that just got me started on the wrong subject, so itís probably better I donít talk about it.
JENNA: Alright, alright let me ask you that. Do you think thatís the biggest problem? That we no longer have that American heavyweight champion and thatís why the division has the same glamour it had?
JONES: Well not only that, itís hurting boxing all around because now nobody hardly really truly knows who the true heavyweight champion of the world is! And thatís a bad thing! Nobody knows whatís going on! How do we live in a society that doesnít know what was once the most prestigious champion in sports, which was the heavyweight champion when Muhammad Ali had it. Now, we donít know who the heavyweight champion of the world is?! Are you serious? Oh! It kills me. Oh goodness, it kills me! (laughs)
JENNA: (laughs) Being the fact that you did win a heavyweight championship belt, do you have any regrets at all about not staying in that division and doing more when you were up there.
JONES: Well let me tell you why I donít have regrets. See, the reason I donít have records is because like I tell people all the timeóIím not the kind of guy that talks about something that I didnít do, or brag about something that I didnít do. To me, if I didnít go back down and regain the light heavyweight championship of the world, then I didnít do what Bob Fitzsimmons did. Maybe I could have stayed up there a little longer and then come back, but the longer I stayed at heavyweight the harder that was going to be for me to come back. People say well, youíre the second guy to ever win the middleweight, the light heavyweight, the heavyweight title, and then come back down and recapture the light heavyweight title. Thatís the big key! A lot of people look over that, but me being the professional I am, I canít look over that! I couldnít sleep at night properly if I won the heavyweight title and didnít go back to win the light heavyweight title. If I didnít, people would still say thatís not truly doing what Bob Fitzsimmons did. What they would have done was when I retired and couldnít do anything about it, people would say he was good and he did part of what Bob Fitzsimmons did, but he didnít do the whole thing. He didnít go back and recapture the light heavyweight title! I know how people are! The critics would have waited until I retired and made sure it was over with so I couldnít do anything about it, and then they would have said I didnít do it because I didnít go back down and regain the light heavyweight title like he did. You understand me? I wasnít going out like that. No! So it was imperative that I go back and regain the light heavyweight title, because thatís what he did.
JENNA: Alright now Roy, do you think that was the best accomplishment of your career, or do you think there was another fight out there or another situation that you would consider to be your crowning moment?
JONES: Well to be honest my crowning moment was against James Toney, because they thought he was such a great throwback fighter that he could beat me. And that was my crowning moment, but my favorite moment was beating John Ruiz because that was something that people didnít think I can do. Thatís a bigger turn-on for me when I do things that they say I canít do. Like right now theyíre saying I canít come back? Thatís the biggest turn-on for me ever!
JENNA: Alright well Roy, itís been fantastic having you once again return to On the Ropes. For all you fans listening out there, if you want to catch Roy Jones Junior back in action when he faces off against Max Alexander, you can see it at www.ustream.tv/royjones - the fight will only cost you $9.99. Roy, is there any final thoughts you want to pass on to the fans?
JONES: Yes! I want to thank you fans for supporting me all the years that youíve all supported me. I appreciate all of the love and support. I will continue to keep on trying to give you all the same love that you give me all when Iím in the ring, to put up that same type of showmanship that you guys enjoy watching me, and I canít wait!
JENNA: Alright, thanks again Roy. Best of luck!
JONES: Thank you.
CIANI: Okay Roy. It was a great pleasure having you on the show once again. We thank you very much for your time and wish you the very best of luck in your matchup!
JONES: Alright, thank you all for having me.
For those interested in listening to the Roy Jones Junior interview in its entirety, it begins approximately one hour and three minutes into the program.
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