Thousand Oaks, CA– Though he is still an active fighter, Roy Jones Jr.(56-8, 40 KOs)


career as a prize fighter is essentially over. So how will history remember a man who had unlimited amounts of skill and reflexes, but never had the mind frame to match? Jones in his prime avoided serious competition like the plague and always found a reason not to take a risk. His career numbers are quite impressive on the surface: four division champion, heavyweight king, and unification of the light heavy title. But take a closer look at his record and things aren’t quite as good as they appear.


His heavyweight title is fraudulent. The fact that Jones chose WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz and not lineal heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis as his heavyweight opponent should tell everybody of Jones’ mindset . Safety first! He even backed out of a fight with a way overweight Buster Douglas. Ironically, Jones won his first two titles against his best competition, a pre-prime Bernard Hopkins for a vacant 160 lb. title and a prime James Toney for a 168 lb. title. By the time Jones moved up to 175 lbs., he was avoiding top competition. There wasn’t a lot at light heavyweights at the time, but Jones was facing fighters like Derrick Harmon, Richard Hall (for which both fighters failed a post fight drug test AKA “steroids”), and an off duty New York City police officer Richard Frazier.


If you analyze Jones achievements closely, he never even won a legitimate linear world championship. His most legitimate title is the IBF 168 lb. title because he beat the undisputed top dog in the division for it. Most people who don’t follow boxing closely will say he unified the light heavyweight titles. True, but he was never, EVER the lineal champion. Virgil Hill had already established the lineal title in 1996 when he beat undefeated Henry Maske. Dariusz Michalczewski beat Hill in 1997 to unify the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles. Though he was stripped of the WBA and IBF belts soon after, Jones needed to beat Michalczewski for the legitimate linear title, which he never did. (In fact Zolt Erdei is currently the linear light heavyweight champion to this day). This is important because it demonstrates how Jones went around the legitimate champion to unify the titles. Most people believe he would have beaten Michalczewski.


To make matters worse, Jones started fighting the best only after his prime. Even though he lost to Joe Calzaghe the long reigning WBO super middleweight champion, most would agree that Jones would have easily handled him if they had fought around 1996 or 1997, which is when the fight should have taken place. Bernard Hopkins, who Jones has infinitely more talent than, will probably go down as the greater fighter. All this is not meant to discredit Jones, but to put into perspective of what was and what could have been. He’s still clearly a first ballot Hall of Famer, but for a guy who many compared to Sugar Ray Robinson in his prime, he could have achieved so much more. If only his mind frame had matched his talents.

Tony Hung

Editor’s Note: Tony Hung is known as “The Human Boxing Encyclopedia” has a BA degree in History from Cal Poly Pomona and today he makes his debut at


  • boxing fanatic….Jones is considered greater than all his contemporaries you mentioned. When measuring Jones’ place all time he must be held to a higher standard. His all time greatness is what I question…..where does he place. He is a first ballet HOF no doubt. Some greats fought all comers and in the B sides backyard. Ali and Robinson should get extra credit for that. Still….why does Jones travel now for meaningless fights?….especially when he’s the A side.

  • boxing fanatic, Roy Jones never offered Lennox Lewis $25 million for a fight. This is an obvious lie, and a pretty bad one at that. Jones didn’t have much PPV value at the time, as witnessed by his past PPV failures involving Vinny Pazienza, Montell Griffin, and Eric Harding, so he was hardly in a position to offer $25 million for a fight, much less to Lewis. Only his bout with Ruiz had good numbers and it seems pretty obvious that Lewis would have had as much say on a fight with Jones as Jones would with him. Lewis was routinely on PPV, unlike Jones.

  • I call him the “Pensacola Pussy”

  • boxing fanatic all i was saying was roy jones left a lot more questions than he answered. Do i honestly believe Roy would have beat those guys in his prime? Hell ya. Can I question his confidence in his own abilities for not moping the floor with these guys? yes i can. Bottom line is he didnt shut the critics up. He waited till i guy was slipping then he fought em. virgil hill and Mike Mccallum for example. Also I know that everyone of these guys he could have fought all said the same thing. They got tired of chasing him. Then get offered peanuts for the biggest fight of their lives. All these guys posed a threat and Roy took the path of least resistance. Collins, Eubank and Mickleczki all came to fight. If Lou Del Valle could get to Roys chin then so could they. Pedro called him no stones jones back then for a reason.

  • Jones could not draw in the US. Had he fought Michalewski in Germany, they could have filled a 60,000 seat stadium!

  • bigdig did toney,hopkins,mayweather,ward.have they travelled?? why didnt mayweather fight hatton at london or manchester???? hatton had to go to him,you know why?? cus when your no1 these fighter should go to u on your terms.stop making sound like jones was the only 1 who didnt want to travel

  • bender from when jones fought byrd in 95 till kelly in 2002 his options wasnt good. the g-man god bless him left boxing in 95 so how could he of fought him? benn was finished after the fight too and retired in 96 after too collins defeat and pay days,i am from england and collins wasnt great.for me watson was the best boxer out of the lot..steve collins retired in 97.eubank never came to usa once to fight and left the s.middleweight division in 97 for 2 pay days against carl thompson then jones didnt have g-man as an option at the timeline you gave him benn and collins retired 2 years after 95.nunn was shot from 95 onwards and fighting at cruiser for a while when jones was still a s.middle.yes he coulda boxed liles but jones did beat him as an amateur.why joe c not come to usa to fight hopkins in 99 when warren promised him 4m?? why did joe c not come to usa to fight jones from 95 to 2002 on 2008???? the two germans?? please dont :)

  • Jones missed too many guys along the way. Still a first ballot HOF’er though. I’m of the belief the 1st Tarver fight was 3 to 4 years too late as Jones had no where to really go but face Tarver after Tarver chased him around for a few years….showing up at his press conferences trying to embarras Jones. Now Jones travels abroad fighting C level fighters at best and in their back yards. Makes me think about why Jones didn’t travel to fight his A level peers when Jones and them were at their peaks.

  • While i do believe Roy Jones jr. was a great fighter i do believe his unwillingness to travel and fight the best was his biggest fault. while he was fighting guys from Antionio Bird in 1995 to Glenn Kelly in 2002 their is serious reservations about the quality of guys he fought. I’m not saying that they weren’t capable. Their was real opposition that he could have fought. Steve Collins, Frankie Liles, Micheal Nunn, Darius Mickleczewski, henry Maske, Joe Calzaghe, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and gerald Mccellan. All of these guys were killers compared to the guys he was fighting. The worst thing about it was his lame excuses why he wouldnt fight them. I don’t wanna go to Germany or England I might get robbed. Please he couldn’t draw shit in his own country and was scared to travel. His legacy is he didnt fight the best cause he had an excuse. When he lost he had an excuse. Period.

  • jones offerd lewis 25 million and lewis said no.because if i win i am supposed to and if i loose thats all i will be remembered for.fact,and lewis didnt fight again.then jones offerd holyfield a good deal and he refused lol and he fought toney for 4 mill less than what jones offered him,and toney beat the crap outa him.dariusz wouldnt come to usa and why would jones go to germany when what happend to him in seoul?and jones was the star.jones resume is not that bad.hopkins who was rated above jones when they fought,toney.mccallum,johnson,hill.there first ballot hof guys,granted mccallum was a bit old but still decent.then theres solid champs like woods,griffin,tate who only ever got kod jones 2nd rd.malinga 6 rd ko who nobody b4 jones had kod him.he beat benn,and shoulda got the nod against eubank.jorge castro v.good.everybody has easy fight.hopkins had haaker,floyd had brussells hell even ali had showcase fights.jones may not be as good as his fans think but hes better than this article says.boxing historian lol more like a jones hater.

  • With respect… Roy was officially hung out to dry three years ago by Danny Green and from all critical eyes who followed Roy, when Roy was… ROY… Was never the same fighter after the weight fiasco of the John Ruiz contest in 2003.

  • Roy Jones had speed and everything but the 160-175 pounders in the past could take hits. They could lose early rounds to speed guys. But sooner or later they’d get you. Roy wasn’t built like that. One day he got hit and it was all over. Gerald McClellan, Nigel Benn would get hit and would be competitive and may or may not have won. But Archie Moore, Bob Foster and those types would fold Roy jones over. It would take them about 5 or 6 rounds to adapt to the incredible speed but NO WAY he would last with them.

  • Watching Roy Jones Jr. fight during most of his career was like watching the New York Yankees play some AA minor league team and beat them 10- 1 every time. It was an insult to the common boxing fan, what HBO did with Jones Jr. There were plenty of very good fighters they could have put Jones in with, however they choose not to. Maybe they were afraid the positive drug tests would have come to light or simply Roy would have gotten his ass kicked sooner than he did.

  • He fought better guys than Rocky Marciano… Or Gerry Cooney and even Chavez Jr, Sergio Martinez and Canelo Alvarez… Boy do we need hero’s.

  • Roy was exciting to watch, but he was overconfident, arrogant, the perception once receives is that he was above boxing. Unfortunately he never learned to really fight, was never tested early on, was never in hot water until his reflexes slow a little. Floyd is a much better fighter, but is not yet tested. We are here to see the golden years……

  • Bottom line…Roy knew he had/has a china chin. He knew it and his management team knew it. Great fighters don’t get cold cocked by Antonio Tarver and Reggie Johnson. Hopkins is also over rated. He could not shuck and jive his way past Roy Jones. As Lou Duva once told me, Jones and Hopkins could not carry Robinson’s jock strap. There is weak competition in boxing these days and HBO and Showtime pay fighters huge money to fight weak opponents. RJ had them fooled, Hopkins had them fooled and so does Floyd.

  • I dont think Jones Jr. could have handled a guy like Calzaghe at any point in his career. He also avoided (not mentioned in other posts)Michael Nunn, Darius Michalcezuski, It incredible a guy like Jones Jr. could milk the sport to the degree he did and Still wind up in the Monetary and physical condition he is currently experiencing .

  • The fact that Roy Jones got his balls busted for not Facing Buster Douglas tells you how good he was. Nobody expected other top middleweights of his day to fight super heavyweights. The bigger problem is Jones’ resume is missing a lot of top middles/super middles like Steve Collins, Nigel Benn, Quincy taylor and Gerald McClellan.

  • When Floyd Mayweather’s career is over, you can write the exact same thing about him. To be great, you must dare to be great. You must fight great fighters in their prime and in your weight or above (not below). Really take a look at Floyd’s record and see who he fought and when (when they were over the hill); and who he avoided in their prime. His best win was against Chico. Roy never dared to be great because HBO would pay him 5 million to face sparring partners. Floyd picks and chooses the biggest name fighters with the least chance of beating him. I miss the old days when the great fighters demanded they fought the other great fighters of their era.

  • this sounds like something that should have been written 8 years ago. jones is old news. if he ever retires he’s a guaranteed HOF’er.

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