PART II: ROY JONES: MANY MILES & 23 YEARS AFTER OLYMPIC ROBBERY
ROY JONES & THE 1988 OLYMPIC TRIALS
San Francisco, CA– When Roy Jones was in the 1988 Olympic Trials held in nearby Concord, CA, the famed Concord (now Sleep Train) Pavilion, an outdoor arena, all the talk was about Roy Jones Jr. People were courting him like he was the finest girl in school taking offers to go to the Senior Prom in two weeks. But one guy who knows a little bit about boxing, having won a Gold Medal 12 years earlier in Montreal, Ray Charles “Sugar Ray” Leonard dropped a bomb on me while we were eating at a hotel. “Pedro, you know Roy has a glass jaw, don’t you?” I answered in the negative and Ray, who at the time was trying to run a boxing promotional company that went by the wayside, went on. “Yeah, we had somebody in the gym with Roy and he got ‘iced’ with the big gloves and a headgear on. That’s why you don’t see me chasing him as hard as the others. I don’t think he can take it if he gets hit on the chin.”
SHELLY FINKEL WENT FROM MUSIC TO BOXING IN FOUR YEARS
In 1984, New York rock promoter Shelly Finkel. burst on the boxing scene when he signed a number of 1984 Olympians that included Meldrick Taylor, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Mark Breland, Tyrell Biggs, all Olympic champions in the 1984 Olympiad held in Los Angeles, the games that the Cuban team boycotted. Four years later the mild mannered man who “tried” to take care of his fighters by locking away money for them in annuities. Breland, a spendthrift if there ever was, Mark the most sought after amateur in 1984 after winning world championships even before the Olympics, has a deal that gives him $100,000 a year for life. Meldrick had a similar financial package, as did Biggs, etc. As it turns out, Breland was the only one who I know didn’t take his money out early, thus he doesn’t have to work or worry. The only other fighter I know is Todd Foster gets $5,000 a month for life after his 40th birthday, set up for him by manager Bob Spagnola.
THE TALK WAS ALL ABOUT ROY JONES
Four years later we are in Concord watching Michael Carbajal, Kennedy McKinney, Kelcie Banks, Romallis Ellis, Todd Foster, Kenneth Gould, Roy Jones, Anthony Hembrick, Andrew Maynard, Ray Mercer, Riddick Bowe, the team that eventually went to Korea for the 1988 Olympics, positioning themselves for the Gold, of which only Maynard, McKinney, and Mercer won. The most valuable player/boxer team member was Jones, a Silver Medal winner, this after one of the most putrid decisions in the history of the sport gave the Gold to Park Si Hun, a South Korean who benefited from the behind the scenes “payoffs” that the South Koreans were so damn good at. First they weren’t picking people up in time for competition, see Anthony Hembrick who was disqualified and entire Canadian team who were said to have made their own way from their Olympic housing to the actual arena, making it in just before being burned like Hembrick.
KOREANS WERE LOOKING TO OUST AS MANY FOES AS POSSIBLE
But the transportation issues paled in comparison to the Park Si Hun win over Jones. Afterwards, the three judges that voted for the South Korean were suspended, as the decision was one of the worst in the annals of the sport of boxing. Only 19 years old, landed like 85 punches to Park’s 22, Roy, I cannot emphasize enough how bas a heist this was. Park Si Hun never had another fight after his Olympic Gold Medal win Jones. Imagine the position you were in Park’s shoes for a minute. How humiliating it had to be. Personally, I couldn’t coped with getting a win when two of the three judges that went Park’s way”suspended for life.” I know he got a College Degree and is coaching the South Korean boxing team, but they (the Koreans) would have killed me if I were Park Si Hun.
FIGHTING IN ARIZONA WAS NOT SO GOOD!
In an amateur championship, I left a Silver Medal in a Tucson, AZ ring on the floor in 1984. When the ref went to hand it to me, I simply stepped back, it dropped, the next thing I remember is being at the airport. How the dude from Britain couldn’t have accepted that win after being dropped (at least having 20 seconds to recover) remains a mystery. Surely the pressure of knowing Si Hun knows. it would’ve haunted me to the point of no return. Hey I mean, even the Korean people knew he lost as did Si Hun who told Roy he was sorry while still in the ring. Roy received a ton of ink with his getting “jobbed” in Seoul fight. In May 1989, Jones turn pro sans much fanfare as he is going to let a couple of Pensacola, FL Attorneys, “handle my bidness,” and beat Ricky Randall.
EIGHT ROUND FIGHTS FROM THE START
Roy’s fights were all scheduled eight rounders. I’m going to break Roy’s career down quickly. Beating Ron Admunsen (16-1) a TKO 3 in his third fight, In 1992, he won convincingly UD 12 with Bernard Hopkins.. Then he beat James Toney at 168 lbs. in 1997, this before doing s sensational one-body punch KO over Virgil Hill, that to one, was one of the greatest punches ever thrown in boxing history. Roy’s DQ loss to Montell Griffin and KO 1 of Griffin in the rematch in 1997. The classic left hook to the body “starched” Hill and round four.
ROY’S STEROID USEAGE DOCUMENTED
Part III Is the Conclusion and it will be here on Friday at RingTalk.com And as a tease, i’ll hold back and the photo here and what 1,000 words does this picture really tell?