ONE OF THE GREATS
The brilliant Roy Jones Jnr was THE boxer of his generation yet, as he explains to Thomas Gerbasi, he is still not getting the credit he deserves
We speak to the brilliant Roy Jones Jnr, arguably the boxer of his generation
YOU GET TO A POINT WHERE YOUR BODY FAILS AND YOU’RE HAVING A HARD TIME”
ROY JONES JNR was at ease before his retirement bout against Scott Sigmon in February. That wasn’t a surprise, considering that a journeyman like Sigmon probably wouldn’t have lasted three rounds with a prime Jones.
This wasn’t a prime Jones, who, at 49, was about to take the walk to the ring for the 75th time as a professional. But in his mind, the former pound-for-pound king was as good as he’s ever been. That never got affected by the combinations thrown by Father Time.
Yet even Jones knew that he couldn’t fight forever, and there was no better time than now to walk off into the sunset with his faculties intact and a winning streak that turned from three to four when he scored a clearcut 10-round decision win over Sigmon in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida.
“You get to a point where your body starts to fail you and you’re having a hard time,” Jones admitted. “Then it’s time to start saying, ‘Okay, now may be time to give it up.’ When your body starts not really holding up to the whole training camp, it makes you start looking at it a little bit different. Because if your body holds up, then you’re good. When your body starts breaking down, then you ain’t good.”
It was a rare dose of reality from a man who made a career out of doing extraordinary things that appeared to come from a video game and not a boxing gym,
even if recent years had seen him far removed from those days. And if Jones couldn’t be Jones, he wasn’t going to try. “Well, y’all don’t appreciate me, so I don’t see me sticking around if I’m not appreciated,” he deadpanned when asked why this was the right time for retirement. It was a telling statement because he’s right when it comes to his place in the boxing world from 2009 to the present. During those final years in the ring, Jones could only muster brief flashes of his former greatness, giving a younger generation a false read on who he really was as a fighter. But recently, social media and Youtube have shown that generation the “real” Jones, leading to a greater appreciation of the future Hall of Famer. “I see that all the time,” he said. “It’s like they forget until they look at it, and when they look at it, they’re like, ‘Whoa, who was he?’ And it’s like the song says, ‘Y’all musta forgot.’” Jones laughs, always promoting. Yet while Y’all Musta Forgot was the music world’s first introduction to the Floridian, it was the song
Can’t Be Touched off 2004’s
Body Head Bangerz: Volume One album that truly described Jones at his best.
Can’t be touched Can’t be stopped Can’t be moved Can’t be rocked Can’t be shook
The lyrics captured the first 15 years of Jones’ pro career perfectly, yet ironically, it was in 2004 that the wheels came off. ³
KING OF THE WORLD: There was a time in the not too distant past when Roy Jones Jnr seemed unbeatable